Big Names Commit to Bedford Town Centre

New Riverside Dining and Leisure on their Way as part of Riverside Renaissance

A string of major entertainment, hotel and restaurant operators have committed to opening in Bedford Town Centre as part of the exciting new Riverside North development. The news illustrates the potential of the development to deliver major regeneration in the heart of the town, with its benefits to visitors to include the reintroduction of town centre cinema, new public space, a new pedestrian footbridge over the River Great Ouse, high quality new riverside restaurants and much more.

With planning permission already achieved for the full range of enhancements that the development will bring to the experience of visitors to the town, Bedford Riverside Regeneration Limited, the council’s development partner for the Riverside North site, has secured the involvement of a number of key tenants for the site. Agreements have now been formally exchanged with Vue Entertainment Limited for a state-of-the-art 7 screen cinema and with Premier Inn for a 100 bedroom hotel. In addition several national restaurant operators have signed up to the scheme, including the Gondola Group for a Zizi, Prezzo PLC for a Chimichanga, Tragus for a Bella Italia and Mitchell’s and Butler for a Harvester.

Colin McQueston, Director of Bedford Riverside Regeneration Limited says, “We are delighted to have secured these operators for the scheme, which demonstrates that, in a challenging economic climate, there is real interest from new occupiers to come to Bedford, and specifically to the Riverside North scheme. In addition to the tenants already signed, we are currently in discussions with a number of further well-known brands and there is a real possibility that the scheme could be 100% pre-let, before construction commences in the summer of 2014. The scheme when completed will provide Bedford town centre with a  unique leisure offer that will attract up to 500,000 people per year and create over 250 much needed local jobs”.

Dave Hodgson, Mayor of Bedford Borough, commented: “The commitment of  these major operators is fantastic news, and we welcome their investment in Bedford wholeheartedly.  The range of tenants confirmed highlight just some of the array of benefits that this scheme will bring for Bedford town centre, including the reintroduction of town centre cinema and new opportunities for riverside dining or relaxing, alongside the new jobs created and major boost for visitor numbers. With the new footbridge to come and attractive new public space to feature as part of the scheme, the announcement of these key operators heralds an exciting period ahead for this development and for Bedford as a whole.  

Demolition on the vacated town hall and riverside office buildings started in late January, with work commencing on the main scheme in late summer.