Kempston to benefit from £15m bid to Government’s ‘Levelling Up Fund’

Kempston's Saxon Centre will be at the heart of the regeneration (photo: Paul Hutchinson)

Major improvements to Kempston town centre are on the cards if Bedford Borough Council is successful in its latest bid for Government’s town centre regeneration money.

A bid for £14.9m from the Government’s ‘Levelling Up Fund’ will be invested in regeneration and transport infrastructure to improve the economic vitality of Kempston.

The pitch aims to increase footfall and encourage economic activity in Kempston town centre, improving its vibrancy and viability.

The package put together by the Council will make it easier to get to the town centre and increase ‘dwell time’ you’re there.

The spending would be concentrated around the Saxon Centre including improving the public area and making the area safer, and creating better connections between the shops, employment and leisure sites.

Plans include:

  • Creating space for events and community gatherings at the Saxon Centre plaza
  • A new ‘pop up’ flexible space for local businesses at a refurbished office block near the Saxon Centre
  • Investment in public area improvements and connectivity to encourage more businesses and public services to locate in Kempston town centre
  • New and upgraded walking and cycling infrastructure and improved access to public transport

This funding will also be invested in improvements to the quality of local roads and bridges, including Kempston Mill Bridge.

Welcome to Kempston

Mayor of Kempston & deputy leader of Kempston Town Council, Carl Meader said: “There have been some really positive discussions in the run-up to this bid about the future of Kempston town centre, and this is a great opportunity to potentially deliver some real improvements to this area.

“If we’re successful, this funding would help to define ‘Kempston Town Centre’ as a place for people to visit, shop, work and spend their leisure time.

“We are hopeful that all the hard work to bring this bid together will pay off and enable us to bring these ambitious plans to life.”

Leader of Kempston Town Council, Kay Burley said she would be delighted if the bid was successful and that residents of Kempston deserved to see improved facilities on their doorstep.

“A long-awaited investment in Kempston will be very welcome. The Saxon Centre is a focal point of Kempston and it would be fantastic if the area had a ‘facelift’. Any kind of regeneration would give a good boost to everyone.”

MP for Bedford and Kempston, Labour’s Mohammad Yasin, said: “I wholeheartedly support this bid to continue our recent track record of attracting vital funding to the local area, in this case, to bring much-needed investment to Kempston.

“I met with the Council and was pleased to write a letter supporting their ambitious plans for the funding.”

The Council expects to hear from the Government in the Autumn, to find out if they have been successful.

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