Bedford Borough Council publishes new “Town Centres Vision”

Bedford Town Centre

At the recent meeting of Bedford Borough Council’s Executive, cabinet members agreed a new vision statement for Bedford and Kempston’s town centres:

“Creating town centres that people are proud to live in and excited to visit.”

The Council has said that this new vision is to be delivered through a series of short, medium and long-term projects that will benefit local town centres.

As part of this vision, the aim is to revitalise the town centres into vibrant hubs that offer shopping, services for the community, and leisure, cultural, business and residential spaces, with distinctive quarters that reflect history, heritage and culture.

A big part of the new vision emphasises the importance of connectivity across the Borough. Alongside improving gateways into Bedford and Kempston, the Council also intends to use the river and parks to link the town centres to the wider areas of the Borough, alongside creating connections to some of the local area’s hidden gems.

In addition, the vision highlights the importance of improving the “Town of Markets” offer, ensuring the town centres are well managed, clean and accessible, and bringing investment into the areas to encourage jobs and prosperity.

As part of delivering this vision, it has been proposed that £10m is allocated in the Council’s forward capital programme, which will be considered as part of the 2024/25 budget preparation process.

Councillor Andrea Spice, Cabinet Member for Town Centres and Planning, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed a new Town Centre vision for Bedford and Kempston at another yet another positive and productive meeting of the Council’s Executive. This vision outlines our aspirations for the Bedford and Kempston town centres, detailing our framework for making them areas where people want to live, work, shop and spend time.

“The role of the town centre is changing and we want to be ambitious about the future. That’s why we’ll be working with local businesses and residents to understand how they would like to see this vision brought to life in a meaningful way.”

A more detailed Town Centres’ Plan is being developed to support the delivery of this vision and is expected to be published next year. 

If you’d like to discover more about the Town Centres’ vision, including a map with key planned projects, go online to

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