Better Bedford Street
This project, convened by the Department for Infrastructure and the Ministerial Advisory Group in 2018, pioneered a number of initiatives to improve place management. Bedford Street was selected for the pilot study, and the BID was invited to the Steering Group as the local representative.
The project had a limited budget and was primarily a learning experience that would help inform longer term initiatives, including Streets Ahead V – the £28m public realm scheme earmarked for the Linen Quarter. However, the following tangible interventions were delivered between July and December 2018:
- An extended pavement along Bedford Street. The study found there were twice as many pedestrian movements in the street as vehicles. The extended pavement was introduced to accommodate this, and to enhance commercial activity such as outdoor dining.
- Experimental street art – including a blue “linen weave” running along the footway along with heritage artwork at Bedford Square.
- Enhanced lighting – specifically to alleviate the impact of scaffolding at the entrance to the street – along with new signage / street furniture outside Deanes.
- A mini-performance space outside the BBC, to reflect the musical and theatrical roots of the area.
- New planting, including a mini urban forest along with wild flower displays.
- A programme of street music and animation, including a week of music around the launch and enhanced activities during culture night and the Ciclovia.