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Number Thirteen is Open for Business

March 20, 2013 6:50 PM
Mayor Dave Hodgson with Cllr Doug McMurdo outside Number Thirteen, the new front of house cafe-bar for Bedford Corn Exchange

Cllr Doug McMurdo and I enjoyed sampling the coffee on offer at Number Thirteen after having a look round prior to its opening last week!

Sunday night saw the official opening of 'Number Thirteen', the brand new 'front-of-house' facility for Bedford Corn Exchange and high quality new town centre cafe-bar. The Council has invested in the long-empty former Saracen's Head property in order to improve the experience for concert and gig-goers enjoying the Corn Exchange, and the new facility is already establishing itself as an attractive addition to that area of the town centre.

Number Thirteen will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day as well as pre-theatre dining when events are taking place in the Corn Exchange, Howard Room or Harpur Suite. For more information on what's on offer, see www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk/number13/

I want to once again thank comedian Russell Kane for giving his time and energy to help open the new facility on Sunday prior to his gig in the Corn Exchange. Russell is just one of a series of high-profile acts appearing at the Corn Exchange this year.

A you can see from the photo I had already sampled the coffee personally, along with Leisure and Culture Portfolio Holder Cllr Doug McMurdo, and can vouch for its quality!

Number Thirteen will offer a much improved experience for visitors to the Corn Exchange, while we're really pleased to be bringing a previously disused building at this high-profile location on St Paul's Square back into use.

The Corn Exchange complex already hosts hundreds of events every year and we are investing in this new facility to ensure the Corn Exchange can continue to attract performing arts of the highest quality into Bedford town centre.

The works that have been undertaken to refurbish the property and improve on what the Corn Exchange has to offer represent another major investment in the town centre by the Council, and comes as a series of improvements are coming forward. In the coming weeks and months, for example, we will see works begin at the first properties to benefit from the High Street heritage regeneration scheme, the refurbishment of the bus station toilets and Allhallows car park, the construction of a new surface car park at Greyfriars and, excitingly, the opening of the redeveloped Higgins Bedford museum and art gallery. And that's just a list of the projects the Council is leading on. There is also the ongoing work of the volunteers on the Portas Pilot Town Team, and new commercial investment coming into the the town centre.

These are all extremely positive developments for our town centre in their own right. Keep an eye out here on mayordave.org.uk as I will be reporting on each as they progress.