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Bedford Townscape Heritage Initiative

Logo for Bedford High St THI  Lottery Funding logo  

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The Programme

Bedford High Street is starting to see the fruits of significant investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Bedford Borough Council and Bedford BID, towards the restoration of properties on High Street, as part of the HLF's nationwide Townscape Heritage Initiative ('THI'). The grant funding amounts to a total of £1.95 million and generates private sector contributions from landlords and owners of the businesses, bringing the total pot to about £4.5m.


Objectives of Bedford High Street THI

The Buildings

The main aim is to ensure the long term preservation of the historic Bedford High Street area.  It focuses on ‘whole building’ schemes, with work on properties to include:

123 125 and 119 121 High St AFTER photo

  • Structural repairs


  • Restoration of traditional shopfronts


  • Reinstatement of lost architectural details


  • Bringing upper floors back into productive use


To date, the Council has completed 12 properties with landlords and businesses and works to a final 3 properties are currently on site. The grant funding is now fully allocated.


Learning, Education and Training

The THI project is also delivering an extensive learning, education and training programme alongside the physical building works. This aims to provide a legacy of increased heritage skills and appreciation in the local area. The programme includes heritage interpretation, events, educational and community activities, as well as heritage construction and maintenance skills for owners, tenants, contractors, students and the general public and a new NVQ Heritage Construction Skills, now available at Bedford College. 


Princes Trust Get into 2012


Further Initiatives

Complimentary physical works on High Street, funded by the Council alone, include improvements to Luddington’s Passage (between 49 – 51 High Street) and 'Passage 101', between 99 – 101 High Street. The artwork in both passageways was conceived and realised by Bedford College HND Fine Art student, Michelle Crowther.


The Council is also looking into detrafficking options on High Street, as part of a longer term strategy to improve the pedestrian environment. 


Grant Rates

Funding is available through grants offered to landlords and tenants along High Street.  The grant rates are set at 70% for repairs and 80% for reinstatement works.  Rates for reuse of vacant floor space vary. The calculation will be based on the cost of renovation works over and above any potential increase a property's value as a result of the work. There is a maximum cap of £200,000 grant per property.


Looking for more information?

Information on the Council's HLF Application, including maps of the eligible properties, are available to view on our THI Updates page.


For background information on the project visit our High Street Renaissance page and for details of events, educational resources and Newsletters visit our High Street - Notice Board page.

If you would like any further information on Bedford High Street THI, please contact the THI Project Manager, Nancy Falloon on (01234) 276258, email: nancy.falloon@bedford.gov.uk


We are interested in hearing what you think about Bedford High Street:

To complete a Perception Survey on High Street, Bedford please visit the Survey webpage.


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