The new Bedford community boat and local businesses have teamed up to encourage people to visit Bedford town centre this summer.

Bedford Business Improvement District (BedfordBID) has been encouraging its 575 town centre levy-paying businesses to get “on board” with the tourist potential of the John Bunyan Boat.

Since being launched this summer, the community boat has already brought over 1,000 visitors into the town centre to take cruises or charter trips up and down the River Great Ouse.

Now day trippers will be given Love Bedford My Perfect Day canvas bags, complete with special offers from town centre businesses.

BedfordBID Director Christina Rowe said that the organisation had donated £5,000 towards the building of the boat and now wanted businesses to “get on board” with helping to encourage visitors to take a walk into town.  “We have a regional advertising campaign on the theme of My Perfect Day encouraging people to visit Bedford there is plenty to see and do for all the family this summer,” said Christina.

Graham Mabbutt, Chair of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust which runs the boat said: “We have had generous financial support from many organisations, but this sort of promotional activity by the BID and its businesses is invaluable. We are all volunteers and welcome the expert marketing which the BID brings to the town being used to support the John Bunyan Boat.”

Bookings for the boat can be made via

Details of town centre summer promotions can be found on