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. 

Media & Sport

Club Towers was officially opened this week by Richard Fuller and the former British tennis player and 1997 Sports Personality of the Year, Greg Rusedski. The club has been open for use for a year now and prides itself on providing a state of the art gym, group exercise classes, swimming, spa, tennis and squash facilities with focus on a family friendly and social environment.

Speaking to an audience of club members and supporters, Greg said how impressive the facilities are and how much he had enjoyed playing on the indoor courts all afternoon with members of all ages. He also emphasised how important it is that clubs like this exist for whole families to enjoy together, as well as being a health club for individuals.

Richard followed by sharing his memory of a very early conversation in 2012 with owner Matthew Towers when Matthew talked through his vision of the club and wanted to discuss how to make that a reality.

Matthew finished by adding his thanks to Richard for his encouragement and the direction it gave and everyone involved since in progressing that vision forward, not least his committed staff and ever supportive wife, Ann.

Richard joined GB Paralympian Alistair Patrick-Heselton at Bedford Free School last term as part of the Sky Sports Living for Sport Project. The project aims to build confidence and develop life skills in secondary school children.

Alistair is an athlete mentor for Sky Sports and was a footballer who had played for Queens Park Rangers as well as Oldham Athletic on loan. After being told he may never walk again following a serious car accident, Alistair represented GB at the London Paralympics in 2012 in 7-a-side football.

Alistair visited the students at Bedford Free School to share his inspiring story of personal achievement and sporting success.

Richard Fuller MP at the Great British Tennis Weekend in Bedford

Richard Fuller MP at the Great British Tennis Weekend in Bedford

On Saturday 17th May, local MP Richard Fuller joined over 400 people to take part in the first Great British Tennis Weekend in Bedford.

The weekend was a huge success with people of all ages given the opportunity to try tennis sessions at Bedford Park for free. This was just the first of four Great British Tennis Weekends in Bedford, so there is still plenty of opportunity to get involved in the lead up to Wimbledon and throughout the summer.

Richard Fuller said “The Bedford Park Great British Tennis Weekend event provided a fantastic opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to try tennis for free. One of the great things about tennis is that you can play at any age, making it truly a sport for all the family.”

The event in Bedford Park also saw the opening of the ‘Window in the Park’ café and the launch of a brand new tennis programme. ‘Play Park Tennis’ has been set up to offer local people the chance to access affordable tennis sessions in beautiful surroundings at Bedford Park. Each session will be led by a qualified coach to not only welcome people into the friendly environment, but also to offer some fantastic advice around technique and tactics.

For more information visit:

Students across Bedford and Kempston have taken part in the 2014 BBC School Report. BBC News School Report gives 11-16 year-old students in the UK the chance to make their own news reports for a real audience.

Year 8 students from St Andrew’s School in Bedford grilled Bedford MP, Richard Fuller about his school-days, his work and even his favourite sweet shop! While Sophie, a year 7 student at Bedford Modern School, asked Richard for his thoughts on racism and diversity.

The full reports are available at St Andrew’s School Report and at Bedford Modern School Report (News Article 005).

On a chilly Sunday in May, Richard was delighted to join Newnham Meltis Cricket Club in celebrating the first match on their new ground at Meltis Sports Club.

The Meltis ground has a strong history as a cricket venue but no match had been played there for 15 years. So to mark the return of cricket to Meltis, a special invitational match was played between a Newnham Meltis side and an opposition XI picked by Councillor Apu Bagchi. The match was dedicated to long time Meltis Club member, Rowland Sharpe, who had long dreamed of cricket being played at Meltis but sadly passed away before it came to fruition.

Richard had the honour of bowling the very first over of the match and, despite not having played since his school days, he was very close to bowling a maiden over. The two sides – each made up of a mix of men, boys and some ladies! – played a tightly fought game. Councillor Bagchi’s side made 77 in their allotted overs before the Newnham Meltis side fell just a few runs short in the final over.

Despite losing out to Councillor Bagchi’s team, Richard was very pleased with his side’s performance and all involved had a fantastic day.

Richard and Marion Cottier officially open Beds Blue Raiders' field

Richard recently attended the opening ceremony of the newly named Phil Cottier Field next to the International Athletics Stadium on Barkers Lane, home to our very own American Football team, the Bedfordshire Blue Raiders.

Phil Cottier, who tragically died last year, was a League official for 20 years and the Blue Raiders’ first youth coach.

After a few words by Richard, the team’s honorary president, the field was officially opened by Phil’s widow, Marion, ahead of the team’s first pre-season game against the Ipswich Cardinals.

Last week, Richard was interviewed by Year 8 students at St Andrew’s School in Bedford for the 2012 BBC News School Report.

During the interview, Richard was asked some challenging questions about government policy on pensions and gangs, among some more light-hearted ones about the UK’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

To view the report, please visit:-

The announcement of the Olympic Torch’s route to London 2012 has now been made, and I am delighted to hear that the torch relay will be coming through Bedford.

I am pleased that LOCOG has recognised the diversity and sporting importance of our town, and that the residents of Bedford and Kempston will be able to share in this great festival.

So, make a note in your diaries that Sunday 8th July will be the day the Olympics comes to Bedford!

LOCOG are now looking for ‘local leaders’ to get friends, family and neighbours together to celebrate the torch relay and to organise local events. Please visit London 2012 Local Leaders to sign up

Richard with Brendan Harris holding Olympic Torches along the Embankment, Bedford

Last month, Richard invited one of the very few organisers of an Olympic Torch Relay, Brendan Harris, the Chief Operating Officer of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, to Bedford where they visited two local schools, Balliol Lower and Queens Park Academy. Brendan recounted the story of how he spent three months on the road with the Olympic flame, travelling 16,000 miles through 43 of the 50 States in the USA. As students listened, two real Olympic torches were passed around– one from the Atlanta Games, and the other from the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

The students learned that the torch relay is the largest spectator sporting event; that over 15,000 people carried the torch in 1996 and that the torch could be carried as you ran, as you walked, on a wheelchair, on a train, on a plane, in a canoe – just about any method of transport.

Brendan said that Bedford was a perfect destination for the  2012 London Olympic Games torch and urged the Council, and all of us, to contact the regional organising committee to say the torch must pass through our town on the 8th July when it wakes up in Cambridge and goes to bed in Luton.

Please join Richard in his efforts to get the torch to pass through Bedford by emailing:

Richard Fuller, MP for Bedford and Kempston, is asking constituents to nominate local residents to become Olympic Torchbearers. The 2012 torch relay is looking for 8,000 “inspirational” people to carry the torch on its journey around the country.

Richard said:-

“We already have a number of great reasons as to why the torch should come here, including our history of nurturing home-grown Olympians.

“But it will be even harder for the London 2012 committee to turn down our request to have the torch pass through Bedford and Kempston if we a large number of local people nominated to carry the torch.

“We have an abundance of inspiring life stories in our remarkable town, so I hope people will visit the London 2012 website and nominate!”

For details on how to nominate someone to become a Torchbearer, please visit: