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About Us

Bedford Corn Exchange is a Bedford Borough Council Cultural Service. Whether you’re looking for a great evening out at a show, to spend time with friends and family, or for the perfect venue for your event, we can’t wait to see you.

We manage three key spaces that make up the Corn Exchange complex – the Main Auditorium, Harpur Suite and Howard Room. Our pre-show bar is open an hour before the events and evening box office is situated on the East Entrance landing.

Come to a Show

We’re the largest venue for entertainment and events in Bedford, welcoming nearly 40,000 audience members to shows last year. Our diverse programme of music, comedy, dance, theatre, and family shows means there’s something for everyone on offer.

We’re proud to be one of four UK residencies for the Philharmonia Orchestra outside London. You can find out more at

Hire Us for Your Event

Bedford Corn Exchange is a flexible venue with rooms suitable for a variety of occasions and events, from weddings and parties to conferences and meetings. To find out more visit the Venue Hire page.

Our History

The Corn Exchange was opened in 1874 and was originally designed to be a concert venue and meeting space, as well as a place of business.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra were housed in the Corn Exchange during World War Two, when it became too dangerous for them to be based in London. The venue played host to many star names during the war, including Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, Marlene Dietrich and Vera Lynn.

The Harpur Suite was built in 1834 as the town’s Assembly Rooms and originally housed the General Library and Literary and Scientific Institute, before being renamed the Harpur Suite in 1972.

To find out more about other Bedford Borough Council Cultural Services visit: