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Get Along to the Riverside North Consultation Event and Have your Say

September 14, 2012 6:04 PM
Dave Hodgson discusses initial proposals for the Riverside North Development in Bedford at the Public Consultation Event

This photo was taken at the public consultation event held earlier in the year

Following an exhibition and consultation event earlier in the year to gather views about what residents and visitors to Bedford would like to see included in the Riverside North development, the developers Coplan Estates and Denne are running a new consultation event which is underway at the Harpur Suite in Bedford. It ran all day yesterday and today, and you can get along tomorrow at any time between 9am and 5pm. As I've said all along, it really is important that as many people as possible have their say on this exciting opportunity for a new riverside retail and leisure development.

The scheme will reintroduce a town centre cinema to Bedford, and will draw people down to Bedford's riverside and new bars and restaurants. With town centres across the country struggling against prevailing trends which favour online and out-of-town retail, not to mention the economic climate, we know that the town centre itself has to be a real destination itself, somewhere people of all ages can go to spend time and enjoy themselves. Many people I speak to tell me that, while there are some great bars and pubs in town, in the evenings Bedford town centre does not offer enough for families, for example, or people of different age groups. The new cinema and attached attractions have the potential to do that, and to bring real, lasting benefit to our existing businesses through vastly increased footfall.

It is important that the development is attractive, that it is right for Bedford and that it makes the most of its riverside setting. That's why I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to talk to the developers, look at the plans and help shape the plans. For those who can't make the consultation event, there will be more information online soon, and I'll be posting links from here.