Having your say on Bedford Town Centre Masterplan

Bedford Borough Council are consulting the public about a new strategy for the town centre. This will determine how the town centre develops in the future and is an important document. The Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway is not included in the draft strategy. Please support our project by responding to the consultation and asking the Council not to forget the importance of the Waterway to the future of the Bedford town centre and riverside. You can email your own comments via the link below

 http://www.bedford.gov.uk/business/projects__infrastructure/regeneration_projects.aspx

 Consultation on the Bedford Town Masterplan on 31st October 2017. 

This is what the Trust has said:

 The Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Trust strongly supports the concept of a town centre masterplan, however the Trust is very concerned that no reference is made in any part of the consultation document about the benefits that the Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway will bring to the town centre. By linking the River Great Ouse and the Grand Union Canal in Milton Keynes the waterway will open up significant opportunities for new businesses, waterside and water based recreation. It can help strengthen the character of the river and its environs. Increased traffic on the river will contribute to increased animation and activity in the town centre and help create more attractive places especially in Area 1 – Ford End Road and Area 3 – South of the river.

 The Trust urges the Council not to ignore the waterway and to give emphasis to it in developing Theme 3 of the consultation document, “the River Great Ouse” as well as the two specific areas referred to above.

 The Trust has recently commissioned an update of the economic impacts of the waterway. This will consider the potential for:

 Uplift in land value

  • Uplift in NNDR/business rates,
  • Tourism related economic growth
  • Job creation and construction employment and training
  • Wider placemaking and health related benefits

Initial outputs from the study will be available in late November and the Trust will ensure the Council is advised of information which supports the points made above.

 Bedford and Milton Keynes Waterway Trust