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Leisure and Tourism News

  • Launch Photo for Women's Tour Stage 2 Culmination
    Article: Mar 21, 2014

    Mayor Dave Hodgson yesterday joined Bedfordshire resident and leading cyclist Helen Wyman, Women's Tour organiser Guy Elliott and sponsors University of Bedfordshire, the Harpur Trust and BedfordBID to officially unveil the race route through Bedford for the culmination of stage two of the inaugural Women's Tour Elite International Cycle Race in May.

  • Raft Racing at Bedford River Festival
    Article: Feb 24, 2014

    This year is River Festival year, with the dates of the biennial celebration of the very best of Bedford confirmed as Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th July 2014.

    The ever-popular event for all the family is one of a series of exciting free public events taking place in the Borough in 2014, including the International Kite Festival on 24th and 25th May and the conclusion of the second stage of the Women's Tour elite cycling event on Thursday 8th May.

  • Mayor Dave Hodgson with the car parks sign on Horne Lane, Bedford
    Article: Jan 31, 2014

    All parking charges in Bedford town centre have been frozen for 2014, in a further major boost for local shoppers and businesses. The freeze applies to all town centre car parks and all on-street parking charges, meaning the real cost of parking in Bedford is falling yet again. The move means that 2014 is the fourth straight year of town centre car park charge freezes and is more good news for motorists following the introduction of the Mayor's Free Parking Deal, which sees two hours' free parking in all Council-owned town centre car parks on Saturdays.

  • Dve Hodgson with Bill Murphy of BT following the signing of the contract to deliver the local broadband plan
    Article: Dec 21, 2013

    Details were announced this week of the project which will see 8,000 additional homes in Bedford Borough receive 'superfast broadband' by 2016 and all homes have access to a minimum 2MB broadband. Working with partner authorities, Bedford Borough Council has successsfully secured over £1 million of investment in improving local broadband, especially across rural parts of the borough.

  • Bedford International Athletics Stadium
    Article: Nov 30, 2013
    By Dave Hodgson

    I have yet to write here about the excellent outcome a short while ago of the tendering process we undertook to help safeguard the future of the wide range of public leisure facilities run by the Council. As is well known, with councils facing extraordinary, unprecedented cuts to their funding, leisure facilities have come under threat of cuts across the country, with many areas nearby and beyond seeing leisure centres, swimming pools and other facilities closed.

  • Article: Nov 1, 2013

    This week saw the announcement that elite international cycle race The 2014 Women's Tour will be coming to the streets of Bedford Borough next May. The announcement confirmed that the second day of racing will conclude in Bedford. This is an elite level race, having recently been awarded the highest possible status by the international Cycling authority the UCI, meaning that the very best international cyclists are likely to feature.

  • Kite
    Article: May 25, 2013

    There is a wide range range of events taking place across the Borough this Bank Holiday Weekend, and fortunately the weather forecast is looking a lot brighter. Amongst them is the Bedford International Kite Festival, which returns to Russell Park for free family fun today until 6pm and then tomorrow from 10am to 5pm. There will be spectacular kites and highly skilled kite-flyers from all over the world, and no doubt the spectacle will be as impressive as ever (wind permitting!).

  • The Higgins Bedford
    Article: Apr 29, 2013

    My 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:

  • Mayor Dave Hodgson with Cllr Doug McMurdo outside Number Thirteen, the new front of house cafe-bar for Bedford Corn Exchange
    Article: Mar 20, 2013

    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.

  • St Luke's Church Interior
    Article: Feb 19, 2013

    Recently I attended Bedford School's event marking the next phase of its exciting project to convert the former St Luke's Church building on St Peter's Street into a brand new theatre for Bedford. The school hosted the awareness-raising event to mark the planning approval received for the project, with the focus now moving on to raising funds for the conversion and development of the theatre.