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Lime Light

Our Lime Light project has now come to a close with the installation of temporary art works by a team of local artists. Beginning late in November 2007, a series of thought-provoking pieces appeared in Bedfords Lime Street. These included artistic treatments to the public realm as well as stand-alone works in unexpected places. This open exhibition was all part of bringing local creativity to one of Bedfordís forgotten streets, please read on for more information.

Click here view Olli Piombino's polycarbonate gate feature.
Click here to view Christopher Leggs' vinyl signage installation.
Click here to view Christopher Leggs' suspended acrylic installation.
Click here to view Gemma Hutton's Clare Court installation.

Kick-starting Lime Street's regeneration

HAPPEN has been pleased to work in partnership with Bedford Town Centre Company on an arts initiative, which aimed to transform the look and feel of Bedford's Lime Street area. Bedford is the first small town in Britain to be selected to pilot the Business Improvement District initiative (a concept popularised in the United States). The initiative is being run by Bedford BID, a separate company under the auspices of the Bedford Town Centre Company.

Bedford loses many customers to Milton Keynes, Cambridge and London, with whom it cannot compete purely in terms of the range of goods and retailers on offer. The BID initiative is intended to help it to find new ways of encouraging local people to visit the town centre.

The aim of this partnership has been to explore how artists can contribute to the objectives of the BID in boosting the town centre economy, through kick-starting the regeneration of Lime Street. Our proposition was that a series of artistic interventions would increase the distinctiveness, attractiveness and vibrancy of Lime Street, thus increasing footfall and inwards investment.

A Creative Hub

Our longer-term vision is for Lime Street to become Bedfordís ìcreativeî quarter; a counterpart (albeit smaller) to the ìculturalî quarter taking shape on the other side of the High Street, which will be heritage-led. Our strategy for achieving this has been to create a ìbuzzî about Lime Street, through a series of artistic interventions that attract people to the street and encourage fresh thinking about what it might become.

During the first phase of this project, Lime Street became a creative ìhubî on Saturdays, with a high-quality and locally-sourced programme of performances. The emphasis was on fun and accessibility, and their were opportunities for young people and students to display their talent as well as professionals. The programme ran from the end of May 2006 until early October 2006, after which the project was reviewed and evaluated.

HAPPEN engaged Nic Fryer of Small Change Theatre to book and co-ordinate the performing arts programme. Acts took place every Saturday from 12.00 to 2.00pm, and were presented by both local and regional arts companies.

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