Bedford Townscape Heritage Initiative
Bedford High Street is set to receive significant
investment after the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the Council
£850,000 towards the restoration of properties on High Street, as
part of the HLF's nationwide Townscape Heritage
Initiative ('THI'). The Council was delighted to hear it had
secured the funding on 24 July 2011, after more than 2 years work
to bring the money to Bedford.
In addition to the Heritage Lottery Fund monies, the Council is
providing £1m of match funding and Bedford BID are contributing
£100,000. The scheme will also generate private sector
contributions from landlords and owners of the businesses, bringing
the total pot to about £3m.
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:
- Structural repairs
- Restoration of traditional shopfronts
- Reinstatement of lost architectural details
- Bringing upper floors back into productive use
The Council is currently working with 12 property owners /
tenants on the High Street, to bring forward applications for grant
funded renovation projects and a number of these should be on
site in 2013. 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 at 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 opposite shows those properties which are eligible
for inclusion in the scheme. Buildings are classified as
either Priority, Priority Reserve or Reserve. Priority Reserve and
Reserve properties will only be eligible for funding once the
Priority buildings have either obtained grant funding or are no
longer participating in the scheme.
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 events and new
documents visit our High Street - Notice
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