Restoration work begins on Bedford High Street - including former Goldings building

The Blue Monk is also having work done

By The Newsroom
Friday, 28th January 2022, 1:55 pm
Updated Friday, 28th January 2022, 2:38 pm

Works have begun on restoring and improving various properties on Bedford’s High Street.

Scaffolding is up and conservation work has begun on the façade, columns and historical features of 19-21 High Street (the Blue Monk building).

Works are also expected to start next month on 58 A, B and C High Street, the buildings on the northern side of Silver Street Square.

The former Goldings building in the High Street

These improvements will include the installation of new shopfronts, alongside the creation of two additional smaller retail units.

The work is being done as part of the Borough Council’s High Street Heritage Action Zone, supported by Historic England - and the council hopes it will restore the ground floor to its former glory and create new start-up space for independents.

The third property scheduled to start soon is 107 High Street, the former Goldings building.

Improvements will include a new traditional shop front, alongside conservation repairs that will reinstall lost architectural features on the outside of the property.

The Blue Monk building

Cllr Henry Vann, portfolio holder for town centres and planning, said: “Work has begun – to see the scaffolding go up and improvements begin to our beautiful High Street is brilliant. It’s an exciting milestone in this project which will see our historic environment preserved, and which will help to bring new life to the properties on Bedford High Street. "

Hilary Chipping, chief executive of SEMLEP, said: “The restoration of the historic shop fronts on the beautiful High Street of Bedford will encourage people to come back into the centre and enjoy the many social and retail opportunities and support local businesses.”

Tony Calladine, East of England regional director, Historic England said: “It’s wonderful to see work beginning on the restoration of Bedford’s characterful shopfronts.

"I’m delighted that the revitalisation of these historic properties will benefit existing business, enable the start-up of innovative organisations, and generally help to bring new life to the high street.”