Press Release – Christmas Lights Switch On event

Bedford’s Christmas Lights Switch On event will take place on Thursday 23 November, at 7pm, along The Embankment.

Everyone is invited to attend this free Christmas event when Bedford Borough Council will light up the town with another magnificent firework display to mark the start of the Christmas period.

Entertainment before the switch on, organised by BedfordBID, will take place from 3pm – 7pm in Harpur Square and will include a snowboard simulator, Christmas balloon modelling, a Cairngorm reindeer and lots of Christmas games.

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “Get your hats and scarves at the ready and be sure not to miss this fun, family event which is guaranteed to get you in the mood for Christmas. There’s always a sea of smiles as the atmosphere builds up for the switch on event as peoples’ festive spirits are raised.”

Father Christmas will be at the switch on event, so get there early to get a good spot and help welcome him to Bedford!

There will be free late night parking at the Harpur Centre and Council-owned car parks (except River Street) from 6.00pm on the 23rd November. The Christmas Light Switch On will also mark the beginning of late night parking in Bedford Town Centre.

Further information on any other Christmas related events can be found here.



Press Release – Millions to Tackle Manton Lane Congestion

Bedford Borough Council has announced a £5 million investment to help tackle congestion on Manton Lane after a successful bid to secure additional funds from the Department for Transport.

With £3.5million in Government funding secured towards the council investment, improvements to the Manton Lane junction are now set to go ahead through the ‘Bedford Northern Gateway to Growth’ project. This will increase capacity and help tackle the congestion in this area.

These works are set to include the installation of signals on Manton Lane roundabout, linking the traffic lights on Manton Lane to the new signalised roundabout, increasing capacity at the Great Ouse Way junction, and improving pedestrian crossing facilities on Manton Lane.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Transport said “This junction is a well-known congestion hotspot in our town. This successful bid, alongside investment by the Council, will deliver major works to help relieve this pressure.  As our town and Borough continue to thrive and grow, these crucial works to improve our infrastructure will help keep our roads running smoothly.”

Works are expected to begin in 2019, following consultation and confirmation of the final detailed scheme.


New Biddenham Country Park Sports Centre

Kempston Town will be playing at their new ground Kings Field

After months of negotiation, we can now reveal that Kings Field will be the permanent home of AFC Kempston Town & Bedford College. Along with our partners at Bedford Tigers RLFC, with whom we will share the facility, we have negotiated a very long term lease with Linden Homes & Bovis Homes, that will allow both clubs to flourish.

The development sits just on the edge of Biddenham, off the new bypass and alongside a lovely country park. The £2.8million complex boasts 6 changing rooms, 4 officials rooms, 2 locker rooms, kitchen, meeting room and a very spacious hall. Outside the building it boasts a large well lit car park with 148 spaces, a large cycle shelter plus 3 adult pitches and 2 junior pitches.

The facility will be run by a committee made up of members of both clubs, plus other members of the local community and the developers. This will allow the club to be run with transparency and integrity, and to help engage the local community and for them to feel a part of this great complex.

This will be the first time that Kempston Town has had its own home, and the club are relishing the opportunity to drive forward and achieve it’s goals. The players have been excited and eager, and it was fantastic to be able to play our first two games last weekend. We have lots of ambitions and targets for the coming years, and this will give us the opportunity to achieve those, and not be in the hands of other people.

We are currently in negotiations with several breweries who are very keen to be involved, and the proposal is that we will have a licensed bar in as soon as possible. We believe that this will be a fantastic venue for parties etc, and can’t wait to welcome you all into our new home.

We do have several sponsorship opportunities available, so if you are a local company, and would like to get involved, please drop me a line on the details below.


Gary Ingerson

Tel: 07800 864040

Start of Public Consultation for the Bedford Borough Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment

Have your say on local pharmaceutical services

Residents of Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes have the chance to give their views on pharmaceutical services in their local areas.

It is part of the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), which runs from 16 October 2017 to 15 December 2017.

A PNA looks at what pharmaceutical services are currently in an area, whether this meets local needs and if there are any gaps.

So, residents are being asked to give feedback on the services offered by local pharmacies, which could include offering health advice and information such as stop-smoking services, sexual health and drug support services as well as providing over-the-counter medicines, and whether this meets local needs.

All local authorities are required to keep an updated PNA document, so feedback is also sought on each of the documents to help identify any issues that affect the commissioning of pharmaceutical services and the ability to meet local health needs and priorities.

People can take part in one or both sections of the consultation. All feedback will be considered by the health and well-being boards from the three local authorities and help them to identify any current and future services that may need to be commissioned.

Central Bedfordshire Council – Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Health at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “The Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment affects most residents, as many of us will use a pharmacy at some point or another to get medicine or health advice and information for themselves or family members. That’s why I’d encourage as many people as possible to have their say.

“Your feedback will be vital in ensuring that what’s out there already meets local needs – and if there are any gaps then we need to know about them so that we can inform those that commission and provide services.

To have your say, visit or you can pick up a paper copy from your local library.

Press Release- Network Rail information

While electric overhead wires already pass beneath a number of the spans of Ford End Road bridge, which crosses the Midland Main Line to the south of the station, work is needed to lift one of the unwired sections so that all the lines through Bedford can be electrified.

The work will be split into two distinct phases. The first will see a single lane closure of Ford End Road between Monday 16 October and Thursday 30 November while utilities running through the bridge are diverted.

During phase one, a one-way system from Queens Park going into Bedford will be in operation, supported by an outbound diversion via Ashburnham Road and Bromham Road.

The second phase, due to start in early 2018, will see the road closed fully to allow for the bridge to be rebuilt. Further details regarding phase two will be announced in due course.

Spencer Gibbens, principal programme sponsor for the Midland Main Line Upgrade, said: “Once complete the Midland Main Line Upgrade will result in a better railway for the millions of people who use it every year. We’ve planned the upgrade of Ford End Road to keep disruption to a minimum, though we do apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result.”


Those who wish to learn more about the work at Ford End Road but cannot attend the drop-in can call Network Rail on 0345 7 11 41 41 or visit and search ‘Ford End Road’

Cygnet’ Bus Smartcard Launches on 1st October 2017

On 1st October 2017 the new ‘Cygnet’ smartcard will be launched, enabling bus users to switch freely between two local bus operators without the need to buy multiple tickets.

Bus operators Stagecoach and Grant Palmer have been working with Bedford Borough Council to launch this new smartcard, which will allow for unlimited travel on any bus within the designated area, across a day or a week.

The Cygnet travel zone equates to the area currently covered by the Stagecoach Megarider and includes the whole of Bedford and Kempston, as well as surrounding villages such as Bromham, Clapham, Cople and Elstow.

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Transport at Bedford Borough Council said: “This will make local bus travel easier and more convenient, so it’s good news for bus users.  Enabling people to change from one operator to another on the same smartcard ticket removes a barrier to bus usage, and is a real step forward for local public transport.”

Zoe Paget, Operations Director at Stagecoach East, commented: “We’re always looking for ways to make life simpler for our customers, and this smartcard will enable passengers to make best use of the local bus network.”

Dave Shelley, Director of Grant Palmer said: “”The launch of this ticket is fantastic news for bus users in Bedford, allowing them to buy a ticket to use on the buses of both local operators for the first time.  The added convenience and value for money will, we hope, encourage more local people to use the bus to get around town.”

The ‘Cygnet’ smartcard will be £5 for a day ticket, with the weekly ticket priced at £17. You can buy your smartcard on Stagecoach and Grant Palmer buses. Ask your driver for a new card which costs 50p, which you can keep and re-use. Your ticket products can be loaded onto your smartcard on the bus when you purchase.



Apple Day 2017

Bromham Mill and Gallery hosts their hugely popular annual Apple Day, on Sunday 15th October, from 11am – 4pm.

Thousands of people attended this event last year, celebrating all things apple! There will be lots of stalls to browse, including crafts, jewellery and artwork, as well as a handmade market, and local wildlife stalls including the Bedfordshire Beekeepers and the Raptor Foundation.

This is all alongside an array of food stalls with lots of choice from hog roast, cheese and chutney, donuts, homemade burgers, and of course apples and a cider bar.

There will be plenty of entertainment with an owl display, a petting zoo, giant games arena, sheepdog demonstration, ridgeside lurcher & terrier display and live music.

Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture said: ‘Apple Day is always a popular event and with so much on offer this year it’s once again set to be a fantastic day out for the whole family!’

Entry into Apple Day is £5 for adults and £3 for children. Bromham Park is managing and operating a car park at the rear of the meadow with a small fee per car.