A project to transform 3 Station Road (former Barclays Bank building) into a two-story restaurant and adjacent retail unit has moved a step closer with the announcement that Flitwick Town Council (FTC) has been awarded a £293,000 grant following a successful application to the UK Government’s Community Ownership Fund.

The Council purchased the building in November 2021 as an investment, primarily to secure the frontage as a Town Square for community use and to prevent the rest of the site from being lost to residential development.

Since the bank’s closure, the Council has extensively consulted with the local community through the Annual Residents’ Survey, councillor surgeries, and Council meetings. Residents have repeatedly expressed their wish for improved retail options in the town, especially emphasising the need to bring back post office and banking facilities.

Following advice from a specialist property consultancy and subject to planning, the Council’s vision will see the building fully renovated and reconfigured to provide space for a casual dining restaurant in the two-storey section and a single-storey retail unit. Modern glazing will replace the old façade, and the layout will be modified to become fully accessible, including a lift to the first floor. There will also be more investment into the Town Square to enable the area at the front of the building to be used for outdoor dining during the summer months.

The Council will work with Post Office Ltd. to explore how best to restore a post office counter to Flitwick as part of this project. It anticipates this will involve financial support to encourage a business to provide one in the first year, which is included in this grant funding.

“The Council is delighted that this town centre investment project has been granted funding. Our plans will create a modern hub in the town centre, including an exciting new restaurant and, hopefully, a Post Office, with both businesses serving the whole community. I’m especially thankful to Alistair Strathern MP and Festus Akinbusoye, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, for supporting this application,” said Cllr Andy Snape, Town Mayor.

Following a competitive tender process, Luton Borough Council’s Design & Delivery Service has been appointed to manage the delivery of the project, including completing the detailed design and planning work. The Council expects to submit a formal planning application soon and will inform residents of the project’s progress as it continues.

The UK Community Ownership Fund is a £150 million fund over four years to support community groups across the UK, including parish, town, and community councils, in taking ownership of assets at risk of being lost to the community.

View the Press Release



Scroll to Top