High Street twins to get a fancy facelift

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A former fish and chip shop in Bedford is saying goodbye to its battered look with a massive makeover.

The old Mario’s Fish Bar at 99 High Street has been hooked in for an “elegant” facelift under the Townscape Heritage Initiative.

The twin project also includes neighbouring 101 High Street, which was most recently occupied by Jinx Clothing.

Working on the two properties at once will save time, reduce costs and create a “unified” design, say Bedford Borough Council.

The twin makeover comes under the THI programme, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Work began this week to renovate the 150-year-old shopfronts and restore part of the historic stone colonnade that was once a feature in the terrace of properties.

Both stores are believed to have been built in the 1860s by George Handscombe Miller.

Records over the years show they have housed a grocer, a toy warehouse, electrical and radio engineers, a coal merchants, bootmakers and a Singer sewing machine shop.

The renovation is being carried out by The English Listed building Company.

For safety reasons the passageway running between the two shops will be closed during the works.