Edwardian Arcade in Bedford gets colourful boost

Artwork will certainly capture people’s attention far down the High Street

More than a centenary of history is being celebrated with the installation of an eye-catching piece of artwork on the High Street of Bedford.

The final artwork was by student Scarlett White - but she admits it was a team effort by her fellow artists at the South Banks Arts Centre of Bedford College and lecturer Richard Lloyd.

The Arcade owners Padmanor Investments wanted something that would capture people’s attention as far down the High Street as the Town Bridge. And this colourful artwork means it is clearly visible on the side of Coffee Republic.

From left, Richard from Bedford College, Martin Keys, BedfordBID board member and owner of Gallones Ice Cream, with artist Scarlett White

The Edwardian Arcade, often incorrectly called the Victorian Arcade, has been undergoing a revival with free wi-fi.

In addition to funding by the arcade owners, contributions were made by BedfordBID and Bedford College.

Toby Clark, Bedford College director of the arts, said: “This was a great commission for our students, something which is designed to be on display for decades.

"In addition to the artistic inspirations they took from Bedford past, they had to tackle with 21st century technology with regard to the materials used to protect and position the artwork.”