Councillors in Bedford have agreed to try to revitalise two town centres through a series of short, medium and long term projects.

Bedford Borough Council’s executive has approved £10 million from next year’s budget for preparing to improve the towns of Bedford and Kempston, under a new vision statement – ‘Creating town centres that people are proud to live in and excited to visit’.

The council says it wants to create vibrant hubs that offer shopping, services for the community, and leisure, cultural, business and residential spaces, with distinctive quarters that reflect history, heritage and culture.

Connectivity is key to its plans and it wants improved gateways into the towns and to use the  river and parks to link town centres to the wider areas of the borough.

Cllr Andrea Spice, cabinet member for town centres and planning, said: “This vision outlines our aspirations for the Bedford and Kempston town centres, detailing our framework for making them areas where people want to live, work, shop and spend time.

“The role of the town centre is changing and we want to be ambitious about the future. That’s why we’ll be working with local businesses and residents to understand how they would like to see this vision brought to life in a meaningful way.”

A detailed Town Centres Plan is expected to be published next year.

Click here for more about the vision and a map showing the key projects.

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