After almost a year of disruption, the barriers are coming down and the building works are completed on improvements that have been taking place on Allhallows and Church Square.
During this major project, improvements were made to the whole length of Allhallows from St Loyes Street down to Midland Road and Church Square, seeing the whole road surface rebuilt and replaced, plus new seating, cycle stands and lighting.
Quality granite has been used to relay the paving and renovations to Church Square – also known as Pigeon Square – have revamped a public space with the aim of attracting new businesses to the heart of the town centre.
Despite the battering the retail sector has taken from online shopping and the global pandemic, new businesses are coming into the town centre.
In the last few weeks, it has been announced that B&M will be taking on the vacant M&S building, Foxy Wings and Beerfly will be opening a bar and restaurant in between Zizzi and Wagamama in the Riverside development and a new deli and kitchen, Cibo, is opening next week on Newnham Street.
Later this summer, the first phase of the High Street improvements will be unveiled while work continues to complete the transformation from two lanes to one, with wider pavements.
Silver Square has already been completed, creating an attractive open space for outdoor dining or entertainment with York stone paving, new planting and improved lighting.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “I am really pleased that these improvement works down Allhallows and Church Square are now nearing completion and would like to thank businesses and visitors in the area for their patience as these works were carried out.
“From what had become quite a tired looking area, you can now see a real difference with the new paving, benches and lighting lifting this part of our town.
“With the works down Bedford High Street progressing, we are seeing improvements and renovation across our town centre to help it thrive as COVID-19 restrictions lift and we start to look towards the future.”
Daniel Coyle of contractors, Ryebridge who managed the project said that they’d really appreciated the compliments they’ve received from retailers in Allhallows.
“Allhallows and Church Square look excellent and are a real invitation to shoppers, retailers and businesses,” he said.
“There are many highlights to this project and not just the end product. We were really pleased to fulfil our Social Value commitments donating blocks to a local special school and to hear the difference they made is really rewarding. Thank you to Bedford Borough Council for this opportunity.”