Working for the future of Bedford & Kempston

Please note: This site covers the period that I was a Member of Parliament from May 2010 to June 2017. 

I am all for cost-saving measures by the Council, but the proposal to convert the Civic Theatre in to a “one stop shop” for council services is daft.  The Civic Theatre should remain in its role as a dignified part of our cultural community.  Has the Mayor no sense of the value of amateur productions  – of plays, of music, of other cultural events?  With vast swathes of the town’s retailing locations vacant, is there no other building available?  Why wreck the role of a key building when alternatives exist?

This proposal does not make sense and I am proud to support the campaign to save the Civic Theatre and to have signed their petition.  You can support their efforts too by signing here.

We only keep these landmarks if we organise – so come on, let your friends know about the threat to the Civic Theatre – and let’s keep this proud building in the service of our community and its culture.

3 Responses to Join Me – Save The Civic Theatre

  • Hi Richard

    Good luck for May 6th – and yes, this theatre should remain a theatre. I did ask Frank Branston when I was one of his candidates why Bedford could not have a better theatre, his response was: The County Council has control of the budget – and there is no money for a theatre. Surely, any regeneration of this area should include a new theatre?



  • Thanks for your support on this. What is particularly disgraceful is the total lack of consultation before the decision was signed off. Even the statutory requirement for consultation with The Theatres Trust (mandatory for any change of use for a theatre) was ignored. You rightly ask why some of the empty space in the town centere couldn’t be used – they haven’t even bothered to look a the options. Usage of the Civic is increasing (incredible considering the lack of investment in the venue) and it generates a revenue stream worth about £28,000 pa.


  • Can’t the civic theatre apply for a lottery grant? I think the Mayor just wants to wash his hands of it.

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