Young visitors are being encouraged to take a closer look at Bedford through a “Symbol Spot” summer search sponsored by Love Bedford.
The Bedford Business Improvement District (BID), which is funded by 500 businesses and supports 100s more, has helped finance the booklets which contain the Mini Map-Makers project run by Alice Gadney. www.minimapmakers.co.uk
The books will take families on a tour of key points of interest in Bedford, and they will be learning how to navigate every step of the way.
Christina Rowe, director of the BedfordBID, said: “Love Bedford is here to promote the town centre and we like to help those who are bringing newcomers into the town centre. We thought the Mini Map-Makers idea was great fun.”
There are various stop-off points in the town centre – one being at the newly-opened St Cuthbert’s Arcade where Alice and Christina met up with Secret Garden, designer children’s clothes, business owner Natasha Trudgill. Natasha and nearly 20 other businesses are now trading from the new look setting and are looking forward to welcoming families all summer long.
Said Christina: “A trail such as this means we can help encourage footfall to some of the hidden gems of the town centre. St Cuthbert’s is now an up and coming area with cafes, bars and restaurants, and there are now new retailers in the Arcade too.”
A trial of the trail was being undertaken in the first week with pupils from the Priory Primary School, which is within the BID town centre zone.
Alice (who is known as Ahoy! Captain Alice by her young fans) is a professional cartographer who teaches students up to A Level, and has run a similar trail at the Marston Vale Forest. She said: “We have 70 businesses from the Nat West on the High Street to lots of independents taking part with symbols on their windows or premises.
Pick-up points for the free books are Baby & Play and Rogan’s Books in Castle Quay, Gallone’s ice cream parlour in the Edwardian Arcade and the historic Goldings on the High Street.