Bedford wins Mary Portas cash injection
BEDFORD town centre is set for a cash bonus, after winning funding for a new High Street project.
It is one of 12 successful bids from across the country that will claim a slice of £1.2million plus support from retail guru Mary Portas.
The bids were selected by government minister Grant Shapps, and the Bedford bid was completed by the BedfordBID group which brings together businesses from across the town centre, along with We Are Bedford, Bedford Borough Council, Bedford College and Bedford Museum, and individual retailers.
Christina Rowe, director of the BedfordBID said: “We pulled together our ideas, many of them recognising the same challenges, and have came up with some realistic solutions which will support the Portas target of reviving Great British high street.
“In this exercise we were aiming for one pot of money which is specifically about high streets, but we also succeeded in bringing together committed people from across the town who want to see Bedford thrive - and that can only help all of us.
“The town team’s key idea was to take one of the empty shops in or just off the High Street and turn it into a show case, sales and support unit for all the other businesses on the High Street and those who aspire to be part of the High Street. We applied for just over £50,000.”
Kayte Judge and Erica Roffe, of the We Are Bedford community group, who were behind the first Bedford pop up event at Castle Quay and are continuing that activity in other parts of the town, said: “This is a recognition of how a creative community can breathe life into flagging business areas and encourage new customers to support shops.”
Read more in next week’s Times & Citizen. And why not post your congrats on our Facebook page?
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Weather for Bedford
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west