Bedford Townscape Heritage Initiative
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
Objectives of Bedford High Street THI
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:
- Restoration of traditional shopfronts
- Reinstatement of lost architectural details
- Bringing upper floors back into productive use
To date, the Council has completed 7 projects with local
landlords and businesses. The Council is currently working towards
grant funding conservation works on a further 5
properties on the High Street. Further information on eligible
properties and grant funding is detailed below.
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
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.
Which properties are included in Bedford High
Street THI, and how will they benefit?
The plan above shows the properties which are priorities
for the scheme. Properties where works are already complete,
or on-site, are framed in blue. The other active properties are
framed in beige. The grant funding is currently fully
allocated and will all be spent, assuming all of the projects are
delivered. The Council has until 31 August 2016 to spend all
of the grant funding.
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
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,
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