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Vann - Council Backing Bedford Town Centre

January 14, 2020 1:51 PM

Henry VannFollowing news that the Beales chain of department stores is in severe difficulty in a further illustration of the national crisis for the UK's high streets, Bedford Borough Council's Executive Member for Town Centres Cllr Henry Vann has reaffirmed the authority's commitment to helping Bedford town centre and its businesses to thrive.

Commenting, Cllr Vann said: "Beales Department Stores have been a stalwart on high streets across the country for decades. While discussions about its future are being taken at a national level we will be doing everything we can locally to support the store and its staff at this challenging time.'

"Alongside free parking every day of the week at Queen Street car park and Saturdays in other car parks, a freeze on parking charges, and a multi-million pound investment in the high street, the Council is working with Bedford BID, Explore Bedford, local businesses and many others passionate about our town to find new and innovative ways to support our town centre.'

"We will continue to encourage and support new and established businesses Bedford and have been successful in bids for additional funding to regenerate the centre and are rolling out plans to reduce traffic on the High Street and create more space for shoppers. There's also a busy programme of events and activities taking place throughout the year and offers such as fiverfest organised by the Town Centre Champions to encourage people to come into the town centre, and see that there's more to shopping than online."

Cllr Vann was interviewed live on BBC Three Counties yesterday to discuss the issue, and you can listen back to his interview here (scroll to 2hr:22m in)