Grade II shopfront restored to former glory

Bedfore and after: Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) grant funded works have helped to transform one of Bedford High Streets most important historic properties from zero to hero. PNL-160607-153456001
Bedfore and after: Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) grant funded works have helped to transform one of Bedford High Streets most important historic properties from zero to hero. PNL-160607-153456001

A 500-year-old building in Bedford has had its shabby shop front transformed to become a high street hero.

The Grade II listed building, dating from the 17th century, is home to Millennium Kebabs and had suffered over time from external alterations which left it pebble-dashed and tiled.

But thanks to a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) grant the timber-framed building now boasts a traditional shop front and sash windows of the original Medieval proportions at first and second floor levels.

Further remedial works were carried out on the roof, chimneys and gutters to secure the building for the future.

Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The transformation of this building is a great example of the restoration of historic properties being achieved through the THI programme.

“This heritage-based regeneration scheme has already restored numerous properties in and around Bedford High Street to their former glory. The works at this site have brought about yet another dramatic improvement.”

The THI project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Bedford Borough Council and BedfordBID, will come to an end later this year.

In the remaining months, the ‘Porter Blacks’ building at 100 High Street will be receiving its final touches, following the recent removal of the scaffolding. The building has undergone a dramatic transformation, with a shop front modelled closely on the historic photographs available and upper floors and roof space converted to comfortable residential accommodation.

Works on Cashino at 65-67 High Street are also now on site and the final THI property, vacant 77-79 High Street (was Cash Converters and Cheque Centre) has secured grant funding and is commencing works this month.

For more information on the Town Heritage Initiative visit www.bedford.gov.uk/bedfordhighstreet