Putting Bedford’s independent retailers on the map this Christmas

Design: Katie Allen

According to Gemma Crawley, owner of The Arc on Howard Street, it’s never too early to mention the C-word, so she’s kicking off Christmas… today.

And she’s not the only one.

The Bedford Indies’ Christmas shopping map, shining a spotlight on the town’s unique independent retailers, is available to pick up from shops and cafes or you can download a copy here.

Designed by Katie Allen, the map was Gemma’s idea, inspired by the very successful Fiver Fest maps by Town Centre Champions.

Gemma has teamed up with Katie, Explore Bedford and us at the Bedford Independent to bring the map to life.

“We wanted to create something not only useful to all of Bedford’s shoppers, but also help get local independents on the map,” said Gemma.

“We opened The Arc two-and-a-half years ago and I cannot tell you how fed up I am of hearing comments – mainly on social media – moaning about Bedford.

“The map is proof that you can find everything you could possibly need for Christmas right here.

“And what we don’t have at The Arc, you’ll be able to find at one of the many other brilliant Bedord indies we’ve featured.”

The map covers Bedford Town Centre and includes 24 amazing retailers, plus 19 local online retailers.

“We are excited to be supporting another grassroots initiative to encourage visitors to the town centre to do their Christmas shopping in our local independent businesses,” said Kat Allen of Explore Bedford.

From today, you can pick up a copy of the map from The Arc or other participating and supporting venues.

This Thursday The Arc will be putting the fizz into the festive season when they host their annual Christmas in October event.

Everyone’s welcome from 5pm and alongside the launch of the shop’s Christmas collection, there will be burgers, fizz and more baubles than you can shake some tinsel at.

You can download a copy of the map here.