Lurke Street multi-storey car park gets a supersized eight-legged facelift

The bland concrete facade of Lurke Street multi-storey car park is getting a colourful eight-legged facelift thanks to a collaboration between local business owners, an artist and the council.

Gemma Crawley-Roberts, owner of The Arc on Howard Street, applied for a Town Centre Priority Fund grant from Bedford Borough Council to brighten up their corner of the town centre.

And work began today (Monday) on an unmissable mural of an enormous octopus, whose tentacles wrap around all five floors of the car park.

The artist’s impression of the finished piece.

“I’ve been mulling the idea for a while,” Gemma told the Bedford Independent.

“I found the artist, Sarah Hodgkins, through a local business women’s forum called The Elevate Circle. Finding Sarah and her expertise helped to really push the project through.

“Cllr Vann – who often asks us how the council can help improve the area – suggested I put in an application for funding from The Town Centre fund.

“The process was easy, thanks to Sarah’s meticulous planning, and within a couple of weeks, the full funding requested had been granted.”

Sarah is using a cherry picker to access her enormous concrete canvas and shoppers can see her in action this week as she makes progress on her eight-legged creation.

“I was delighted to have been asked to paint a mural in Bedford,” said Sarah.

“The colours will create a real focal point and although it’s my first multi-storey car park, it’s not my first structure of this size.

“I love painting on this super scale.”

Getting into position…

Cllr Vann, portfolio holder for town centres said the mural would brighten up Howard Street and make an eye-catching feature of the car park.

“This exciting project has been delivered by one of our outstanding local independent businesses, and is funded by the Town Centre Priority Fund,” he said.

“I’m really hoping that the mural not only helps brighten the place up for the local community but that it also shows that Bedford is a thriving creative space and that independent businesses and ideas are supported by the council.”

Gemma said that she’s over the moon that her big idea has come to fruition.

“I hope that as many people as possible can come and see it and enjoy it. Now, what next?…”

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