Published: Wed 17th November, 2021
A regeneration scheme in Loughborough is expanding to bring improvements to a wider area in the town centre.
The Bedford Square Gateway Project is regenerating part of the town centre and thanks to support from Loughborough Town Deal, it will now bring improvements to the south side of Bedford Square.
This phase was in the original plans but it was put on hold until further funding could be secured. Funding is also being provided by Charnwood Borough Council and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership.
Loughborough is one of 101 places invited by the Government to develop Town Deal proposals to deliver long-term economic recovery, growth, jobs and prosperity as part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. Loughborough has submitted a successful Town Investment Plan and secured a Town Deal of up to £16.9 million. Bedford Square is one of 11 projects being supported by Loughborough Town Deal.
With Town Deal funding and match funding, the projects are worth more than £40 million.
Dr Nik Kotecha, co-chair of the Town Deal Board, said: “This is a significant regeneration scheme for Loughborough town centre and will make the areas of Bedford Square, Devonshire Square and Ward’s End significantly better for visitors and therefore the businesses in them.
“Town Deals are here to support long-term economic growth and this project will certainly do that. Therefore, I am pleased we have been able to invest in Loughborough’s town centre through this scheme and the benefits it will bring for many years to come. More exciting projects are on the way thanks to the Loughborough Town Deal."
Cllr Jonathan Morgan, Leader of Charnwood Borough Council and co-chair of Loughborough Town Deal, said: “A significant part of the work has been completed and it is really starting to take shape. We are really pleased that we can add back in this phase of work to the project and without the Loughborough Town Deal funding, it would not have been possible.
“This Council has made a significant investment into the town centre through this project to support local businesses and make Loughborough a better place to visit.”
Work on the project began earlier this year. Footpaths are being widened and high-quality granite paving is being laid to make the street scene more attractive and showcase the area’s distinct character and heritage. Character street lighting and furniture are also being added and more of the area will be on one level, making it more accessible.
Most of the paving work in Devonshire Square and around Bedford Square north car park has been completed.
Thanks to the additional funding, high-quality paving will be added around the Bedford Square South car park and businesses on the south side of the square, stretching from in front of the post office and around to the junction with Southfield Road. A new car park entrance will be created in the road which links Southfields Road and Woodgate.
The project is due to be completed in the spring of 2022. It is anticipated that the extra phase of work can be carried out at the same time as the remaining phases of the project.
The total cost of the project is around £3.8 million. Charnwood Borough Council has contributed around £1.6 million, Loughborough Town Deal has committed £1.7 million, the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership has contributed £130,000 and a further £390,000 has come from a business rates retention scheme.