Council Submits £15mBid For ‘Levelling Up Fund’


Bedford Borough Council has bid for £14.9m from the Government’s ‘Levelling Up Fund’ to make major improvements in Kempston town centre; investing in regeneration and transport infrastructure to improve the economic vitality of Kempston.

With the aim of increasing footfall and encouraging economic activity in Kempston town centre to make it more viable and vibrant, the Council has put together a package of works to make it easier to get to the town centre, and more tempting to stay longer once you’re there.

If successful, this fund would be invested in regeneration around the Saxon Centre including improving the public area and making the area safer, and creating better connections between the shops, employment and leisure sites.

These plans include creating space for events and community gatherings at the Saxon Centre plaza, as well as new ‘pop up’ flexible space for local businesses at are furbished office block near the Saxon Centre.

Investment in public area improvements and connectivity will encourage more businesses and public services to locate in Kempston town centre.

By also investing in new and upgraded walking and cycling infrastructure and improved access to public transport, more people will find it easier to get into Kempston town centre and support their local businesses.

This funding will also be invested in improvements to the quality of local roads and bridges, including Kempston Mill Bridge.

Cllr Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres said “This is an exciting bid for Kempston Town Centre, developed in consultation with Kempston Town Council and building on previous plans. It is a great opportunity to restore and enhance accessibility and we hope the bid is successful.

“If successful, these ambitious plans will help transform the look and feel of the area around the Saxon Centre, and Kempston town centre more widely, encouraging visitors, shoppers, more businesses and public services to come to Kempston. At the same time, the improvements to transport will make it easier for people to get to the town centre.”

Mayor of Kempston & Deputy Leader of Kempston Town Council, Carl Meader said “There have been some really positive discussions in the run-up to this bid about the future of Kempston town centre, and this is a great opportunity to potentially deliver some real improvements to this area.

“If we’re successful, this funding would help to define ‘Kempston Town Centre’ as a place for people to visit, shop, work and spend their leisure time. We are hopeful that all the hard work to bring this bid together will pay off and enable us to bring these ambitious plans to life.”

Leader of Kempston Town Council, Kay Burley said “Residents of Kempston deserve improved facilities and will be delighted if this bid is successful. A long awaited investment in Kempston will be very welcome. The bid proposes some major improvements to several areas, including certain roads and pavements plus improvements to the Mill Bridge. The Saxon Centre is a focal point of Kempston and it would be fantastic if the area had a ‘facelift’. Any kind of regeneration would give a good boost to everyone!”

The Council expects to hear from the Government if they have been successful in the autumn.

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