Love Bedford Acknowledges Huge Contribution to Town Centre Tourism Operation

Published on 24 September 2019


Graham Mabbutt was presented with the inaugural Love Bedford Visitor’s Award in recognition of the hugely successful John Bunyan Community Boat project.  At the BedfordBID breakfast last Wednesday, Mayor Dave Hodgson spoke of the outstanding contribution and of the organisation Graham has been responsible for which has now taken over 38,000 people on trips on the River Great Ouse. 

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The river belongs to everyone, and the John Bunyan Boat has enabled thousands of people to enjoy getting out onto the water. That’s thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Graham Mabbutt.

Graham has worked incredibly hard firstly to make this brilliant idea a reality, and then to make it a successful attraction for Bedford.  He richly deserves this recognition as the first recipient of the Love Bedford Visitor’s Award.”

The project has also seen the recruitment of dozens of brilliant volunteers and has earned a reputation as an excellent leisure experience for people of all ages.  Graham and team deservedly won a Pride in Bedford Award back in 2013, since when the project has gone from strength to strength.

“Messing about on the river has proved immensely popular with visitors to Bedford and local residents alike” said Christina Rowe, Director of BedfordBID.  “This project has also raised the profile of the area, provided numerous opportunities for businesses and made a big splash for tourism in Bedford.  We were delighted to be part of the initial funding support for this project and on-going promotion”.

Event in Bedford Town Centre

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