New sign of century of service

Published on 10 April 2021


Event in Bedford Town Centre

More than a century of service is being celebrated when The Arcade reopens fully this April.

Established in 1905 as a showcase of the finest retailers in town, The Arcade now has a new logo saluting the “Best of Bedford’s Independents”.

The undercover parade features independently-owned businesses in fashion, hair, health, an ice cream parlour, a historic sweet shop and more. It is an ideal place to while away an hour just admiring all the gorgeous individual offerings in the independent shops.

Owners Padmanor Investments Ltd have transformed The Arcade by separating the unutilised spaces upstairs as stand-alone units for independent businesses like a local make-up artist, tattooist and a company running training courses, amongst others. This is an ongoing project by Padmanor to create multiple, high-quality, smaller spaces for new and existing independents to thrive in this busy thoroughfare.

“We hope people agree we have recaptured the Edwardian atmosphere of specialist shops owned and run by locals offering a very personal service to customers. 

“We think The Arcade is a jewel in the crown of Bedford and while we can create the space, it is the continuing hard work of those who have chosen The Arcade to base their business there which creates the vibrancy and diversity that makes it so unique ,” said Stephen Davies of Padmanor,

“We believe it sets an example for all High Streets to follow - locally owned and run independents offering experiences, services and leisure alongside traditional retailers.”

Christina Rowe of the Business Improvement District (BID) which promotes the town under the Love Bedford brand said:

“With Bedford High Street now being partly pedestrianised people should feel that the town is a place where they can simply stroll around and see what businesses have to offer. 

“We hope they will take a walk from the river, past the lovely St Paul’s Square and the ‘Faces’ on the new-look Silver Street, to The Arcade and discover the delights of so many independents.”

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