Council receives £1.76m to regenerate Bedford High Street

43 buildings earmarked for help thanks to Historic England
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Bedford Borough Council will receive £1.76million from Historic England to deliver building works and a cultural programme to regenerate the town's high street.

The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership and LoveBedford are also contributing funding.

The cash will be used to reinstate the historic features of buildings across the high street and reduce traffic - which is hoped will bring the wider community back into the area.

Bedford High Street (Google)Bedford High Street (Google)
Bedford High Street (Google)

The council has currently earmarked 43 buildings as eligible for funding under the High Streets Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) programme.

Improvements to these buildings could include:

*Reinstating of traditional shopfronts.

*Conversion of vacant floor space for retail and/or residential use.

*Repair and reinstating architectural details to the façade of buildings.

*Undertaking structural works to help achieve these improvements.

Councillor Henry Vann, portfolio holder for town centres and planning, said: “Bedford has such a rich, diverse history and heritage and this funding will help us restore some of the buildings that play such a vital role in that history as well as help us to try and bring some buildings back into use, further supporting town centre businesses.”

Tony Calladine, regional director at Historic England in the East of England, said: "Investing in heritage delivers good results for people – it means looking after and celebrating the places at the heart of our communities, and the buildings and public spaces which define their character. This investment for our historic High Streets Heritage Action Zone scheme will unlock the potential of these precious high streets and help them thrive again."

If you are a building owner in Bedford and your premises falls within the High Street Heritage Action Zone, you can speak with the HSHAZ team about possible refurbishments to your property. If you would like to get in touch, contact Jessica Mittler, HSHAZ project manager at [email protected]

The HSHAZ programme is run by Historic England on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, with a contribution from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The initiative aims to make the high street a more attractive place for residents to visit and shop.