Monthly column: Town Deal success for Bedford

Mayor Dave Hodgson
Mayor Dave Hodgson

As you may have seen the Government has announced Bedford Borough was successful in securing £22.6million in our Town Deal Bid.

Read: £22.6 million secured for Bedford Town Centre investment

This money will help regenerate the Station Quarter and Midland Road, deliver public realm improvements to St. Paul’s Square and see improvements to town centre junctions and local pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.

The Town Investment Plan includes a scheme for funding investment in health, science and digital skills through expanding the current offer from Bedford College to allow them to offer spaces to an additional 250 learners each year and improve the learning environment for current students.

The plan also includes a project to support the rollout of full fibre infrastructure across the urban areas of Bedford by a private provider, helping to attract investment from private sector businesses.

I would like to thank all those who responded to various consultations, including the 2,000 who responded to our Town Centre consultation for their input.

I would also like to thank Councillor Henry Vann the Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning, the Bedford Town Deal Board – chaired so expertly by Sam Laycock – and the whole team at the Council and in partner organisations who helped put this collaborative bid together.

This successful bid will allow us to continue to invest in Bedford town centre and ensure it is a great place for people to live, work and stay.

Allhallows improvements (photo: Steve Roffe)

This success shows the Government has confidence in Bedford and we have seen a number of improvements locally as the town centre begins to open up following the Coronavirus restrictions being eased.

We have seen new paving, seating, cycle stands at Allhallows and Silver Street Square and a new cycle shelter.

Work continues on the High Street improvements, but these will continue for a little while longer and I thank all local businesses and residents for their patience whilst this work continues.

This is a monthly guest column provided by
Mayor Dave Hodgson (Liberal Democrats).
It is published unedited and does not reflect the
views of the Bedford Independent.

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