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Two new major retailers have now started trading on St John’s Retail Park in Bedford which has also benefitted from a major facelift as part of a £2m revamp of the Park by owners the Howard Group.

Newcomers to the Park are Hobbycraft and Wren Living. Hobbycraft, who are the largest arts and crafts retailer in the UK with 78 stores nationwide, has taken Unit 7 with 8,450 sq ft of retail space on a new 15 year lease. The new store opened on 22 May with an official launch and special celebrations on Saturday 24 May. These included a range of free in store activities, demonstrations and gifts to the first 100 customers.

Wren Living, leading designers, manufacturers and retailers of kitchen cabinets, bedroom and lounge furniture with 40 showrooms across the UK, has taken Unit 6 with 10,000 sq ft of space on an assignment of an existing lease to 2020 – the unit was previously occupied by Comet. The store opened its doors on 30 May.

The St John’s Retail Park at 130,000 sq ft is one of the region’s leading Retail Parks In 2009 planning consent was granted to widen the existing consent for bulky goods usage to include DIY, cycle and motor parts, electrical, carpets, soft furnishings, pets, child and baby goods and toys. The site is home to Halfords, Homebase, Currys, Carpetright, Mothercare, PC World and Maplin andthe most recent addition, a Costa drive-thru unit, one of two delivered by Howard Group.

Costa-Bedford Over the years footfall to the site has increased and to further enhance the Park the Howard Group has embarked on a major refurbishment of the park. All retailers on the phase 2 area of the Park now have new entrance frontage and fascias. There is new site signage at the main park entrance and enhancements throughout the site. The works, forming part of a wider £2m revamp of the development which includes the creation of some new retail space.

St-Johns-fasciaMichael Summers, Property Director at the Howard Group, has overseen the park’s evolution over the last 11 years. “St John’s remains one of the busiest retail parks in the Howard portfolio. It has always been an attractive site to retailers and over the years some big brands have settled there. It’s proximity to other major retailers makes this a key trading location in Bedford. Our plans to create more retail space following the new Halfords store revamp are progressing well.”