Bedford town centre ‘thriving’ as 27 retail deals completed

April 04, 2023

Bedford town centre is thriving thanks to an influx of local independent businesses helping to create a vibrant retail scene, according to commercial property consultants Kirkby Diamond.

Kirkby Diamond’s agency team has completed a total of 27 sales or lettings of retail properties in the main shopping areas in the past 12 months. 

Nathan George, head of agency and office in Bedford, said despite the departure of some major retailers the outlook was strong for the future of the town centre retail environment.

Bedford town centre

“Looking back over the past 12 months I am really pleased to see the results of our retail team’s performance,” said Nathan. 

“It’s always the negative stories that tend to dominate people’s attention. Yes, the likes of Debenhams and Beales have left the town leaving large voids, and other national retailers have moved out too, but local independent businesses continue to thrive, bringing vibrancy to the town centre. We are speaking to new and growing businesses on a weekly basis and Bedford is firmly on their list of locations to trade from.”

He added:“Demand for retail space is evidenced by the 27 retail properties that we have let or sold in the past 12 months. Most notably 23–27 High Street, the former Bath Store unit of 4,000 sq ft, that has been let to a wedding retailer. 19 Harpur Street, a town centre unit, has been let to a bubble tea operator while 21 Harpur Street is now let to a pizza franchise and 13 High Street has been let as a convenience store. Meanwhile, various lettings of units within The Arcade have seen new beauticians, clothing retailers and recruitment companies take up residency in the town.

“It will be interesting to see how the town centre continues to evolve over the next 12 months. Our retail and office specialists are best placed to advise if you are looking to acquire or dispose of any town centre properties in the future.”

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