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Plans to transform the Harpur Centre submitted to Bedford Borough Council

Proposals to modernise and transform the Harpur Centre have been submitted to Bedford Borough Council this week. The plans which include a comprehensive internal refurbishment in addition to bringing the shop fronts forward to meet the canopy and new double-height entrances on Horne Lane and Midland Road are central to creating a more competitive and smarter shopping centre.

The submitted plans follow detailed discussions with Historic England on the relationship between the new units proposed on Midland Road and Horne Lane with the Grade II* listed façade. The plans have been altered to reflect the advice received from Historic England with proposed connecting elements between the centre and the Listed frontage being reduced.

James Burchell, on behalf of Tellon Capital, asset managers for the new owners:

We are pleased the application has been submitted as it is an important next step to fully realising the potential of the Harpur Centre. Throughout the preparation of the application we have been working closely with Historic England and the council to ensure our proposals complement the listed façade on Harpur Square. We hope the updated plans meet their and the local communities aspirations. We are already starting work on some internal improvements in anticipation of the comprehensive reconfiguration and refurbishment, so shoppers should soon be able to see the improvements that are taking place. We will continue to work with our tenants, the local community and the Council as we deliver on our vision of the Harpur Centre as a premier shopping destination.”

Ian Wilson Associate Director at Corstorphine + Wright Architects:

“The proposed designs will enhance and regenerate the shopping centre and improve the overall shopping experience. We aim to create a new dynamic frontage to the centre whilst reconnecting to the historic facade. It’s great the plans have been submitted and we look forward to hearing the decision.”

These proposed improvements to the exterior are coupled with significant changes within the centre. Shoppers will soon be able to see the internal reconfiguration works taking shape as store layouts are modified and units are combined.  In addition, the spiral will be replaced with stairs and a glass elevator and the WCs will be relocated to the revamped basement.

Samantha Laycock, Harpur Centre Manager, commented:

I have always felt that the Harpur Centre has huge potential and the submission of this application signals recognition of that. This is a really exciting time for the Harpur Centre and I am delighted to be a part of it.”

                                         

The application will shortly be made available on Bedford Borough Council’s website for the local community to view and leave comments. Anyone that has any questions about the proposals can get in touch with the project team by calling 0800 008 6769 or emailing consultation@theharpurcentre.co.uk.