Town Centre Champions launch children’s design competition


Bedford’s Town Centre Champions are spreading the Bedford love with a design competition aimed at the town’s 5 – 16 year olds.

They are creating a ‘Best Things About Bedford’ guide and all the content and illustrations will be by the young people of Bedford.

Not only will the winners see their designs in print, but there are also dozens of incredible prizes, donated by Bedford’s generous businesses.

The inspiration for the competition came from a national poll by the Nationwide Building Society which revealed that a quarter of children asked didn’t know what a high street was.

32% had never visited a butcher, 23% had never visited a greengrocer and 44% had not been to a florist.

“These results made me think that some children’s retail experiences are limited to supermarkets and online retailers,” said Town Centre Champion organiser, Helen Patterson.

“It made me think that we should be encouraging children to visit town centres if we want to secure their future.

“As the founding member of Town Centre Champions, I decided to launch a ‘Best Things About Bedford’ competition, to ask children aged between 5 and 16 years old to get creative and encourage other children their age to come to Bedford and enjoy the best things to do and see in our town.

“Maps and travel guides are typically focused towards adults so I wanted to create something that was aimed at children which could be published and distributed to encourage young visitors to Bedford.

“Entries can be made in the form of a map, a travel guide, a drawing or even a poem.”

Last date for submitting competition entries is 28 September.

Entries will be split into three age categories and each category will be allocated a star prize and runner-up prizes.

Prizes include: a family leisure pass at Twinwoods, children’s afternoon tea for two at the Swan Hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour of Bedford Community Fire Station, family panto ticket to the Corn Exchange, a KJ Photography photo shoot, tickets to the Bedford Blues, horse riding lesson at the Manor Farm Riding School and more.

“Bedford Visitor Information Centre and the Art Centre & Gallery have both agreed to judge the competition entries,” said Helen.

“In addition, Cllr Henry Vann and Nationwide’s senior branch manager, Janette Grose, will  join the judging panel.”

Entries will be displayed in the lobby area of Nationwide Building Society, in the windows of Beales, at St Paul’s Church and at the Art Centre and Gallery on Howard Street.

Once the judging is over, the designs will be amalgamated to create one fantastic map of the Best Things About Bedford from a child’s perspective.

The map will be published and distributed to encourage children far and wide to visit Bedford as we have plenty of fun things for children to see and do in our town.

How to enter:

  • Entries should be dropped off at the Nationwide Building Society (17-19 Allhallows, Bedford MK40 1LN) by 28 September.
  • Entrants should write their name and age on the front of their entry.
  • Contact details can either be written in the reverse of the entry or send the Town Centre Champions a photo of the entry along with contact details ( or email

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