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The Higgins Bedford Opening - Just one of a Series of Important Developments Coming up for Bedford Town Centre

April 29, 2013 6:57 PM

The Higgins BedfordMy latest monthly column for the Times and Citizen looked at the forthcoming opening in June of the redeveloped Higgins Bedford art gallery and museum. The opening of the major cultural attraction is an exciting development, and is just one of many coming up which are crucial for our town centre if it is to thrive in the future amidst of a series of extremely tough challenges for town centres right across the country. In case you missed it in the paper, here's a copy of the full article:

With temperatures finally creeping up after that long, long winter, thoughts turn to warmer weather and longer days. The very longest day, June 21st, will see the re-opening of The Higgins Bedford following its £5.8 million redevelopment. The art gallery and museum has been transformed with a hugely expanded floorspace for exhibitions, state-of-the-art modern facilities, a new cafe and the latest interactive technology to enable people of all ages to enjoy the displays.

The redeveloped Higgins Bedford belongs to us all, and I hope local people of all ages will come along and enjoy it time and again. Not many town centres are witnessing the opening of multi-million pound new cultural attractions in the current climate. I hope the free, family-orientated Higgins Bedford will attract new visitors to enjoy the fantastic new facilities and our town centre as a whole.

The Higgins Bedford is just one of a series of improvements which are being delivered despite these tough times which will help make our town centre a vibrant and enjoyable place for years to come. The bus station has for decades let our town down. That's why in spite of the tough financial times we've worked to put aside £8.8 million to deliver a regeneration project here as a priority. Works are underway on the first properties to be improved through the heritage-based High Street regeneration scheme. Town centre cinema is coming back to Bedford as part of the Riverside North development, which will also feature a new footbridge over the river and riverside restaurants and open space. The £50 million commercial investment and over 200 new jobs this development will bring really is a major coup for Bedford in these tough times.

All these developments add up to a more enjoyable, vibrant town centre at a time when it has to adapt and become an attractive destination in its own right if it is to survive and to thrive in the future. As Bedford borough residents we all want an enjoyable, prosperous town centre that we can take pride in, and share a passion for getting the best for our town. These exciting opportunities for Bedford can help us to do exactly that.