Here are some frequently asked questions relating to the Bedford Square Gateway Project.

How much is the scheme costing?

£2.6 million. This is being funded by the Council and a grant for £130,000 from the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership. 

Will local businesses in the area be able to claim any compensation for disruption?

Compensation is not available for disruption. The Council is committed to keeping disruption to a minimum. 

How has the scheme changed since March and the public exhibition?

During the tender process it became clear the cost of the project was going to be more than anticipated.

Therefore, some elements of the scheme have been put on hold until a later date. Those elements include

  • the creation of three parking bays near the Post Office in Bedford Square
  • plans to create a new entry/exit for the Bedford Square south car park

These elements of the scheme can be carried out later should funding become available.

Could this project have been delayed because of the effect the pandemic is having on the high street?

The Council is clearly aware that local high streets have been significantly impacted by the pandemic in 2020.

However, this is a long-standing plan which has been supported by local businesses and partners. Its aim is to make the area more attractive and therefore increase footfall in the long term to benefit local businesses. The Council is committed to the project to help support the longer-term recovery of Loughborough town centre following the devastating effects of the pandemic.

The Council accepts there will be some disruption but if work does not start in January and completed by October, it could be delayed for a year due to the need to hold Loughborough Fair, which is not only a historic tradition but also an event which brings thousands of people into the area and boosts the local economy.

The Council believes it is in the best interests of the town centre to complete the scheme as soon as possible to support the recovery effort. A delay could also add further cost.

Will parking be affected?

Parking spaces in the area will reduce from 65 designated parking spaces to 55 to accommodate wider pavements, pedestrian crossing points and public space, but parking spaces will be larger. The overall number is no less than on market days.

There will be no on-road disabled parking on double yellow lines down Ward’s End due to the new narrow road width.

However, there are 34 disabled parking spaces in nearby Granby Street Car Park and more at Beehive Lane Car Park.

The taxi rank in Devonshire Square will be removed. Studies have shown it is not well used and there is a large taxi rank around the corner on Granby Street.

How have we reached this stage?

An initial design was proposed in 2016 and a consultation was held with residents, businesses and other stakeholders.

The project was put on hold while the Loughborough Town Centre Masterplan was reviewed in 2018, which included a consultation. The project was included in the masterplan.

In 2019, consultants were appointed by the Council to further develop the plan and a task and finish group to support the work was set up as part of the Loughborough Town Team, which later endorsed the detailed plan.

In February and March 2020, further designs were shared with local businesses and a public exhibition was held. Information was also posted on the Council’s website and social media channels and in the local media.

Due to the pandemic, work has not progressed as quickly as planned. There have also been some amendments to the scheme and a final decision was needed by the Council’s Cabinet on December 10 before it could be confirmed that the project could proceed.

Now Cabinet has approved the scheme, the Council is contacting businesses to give them an update.

Last updated: Fri 11th December, 2020 @ 14:43