Luton Culture awarded £3.8m to develop new creative workspace in Luton’s Cultural Quarter
It has been announced this week that Luton Culture has been awarded £3.8m from The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) Local Growth Fund.
Luton Culture is an arts and cultural charity, and the £3.8m will be used to develop a Creative Cluster of inspiring work, study and show spaces in the Luton Cultural Quarter including the refurbishment of The Hat Factory Arts Centre.
Marie Kirbyshaw, Chief Executive of Luton Culture said: “We are really excited about the Local Growth Fund news from SEMLEP which will enable us to develop creative industry provision in Luton. We plan to transform two old hat factories near The Hat Factory Arts Centre into high quality and high tech workspaces for creative individuals and businesses to work”.
The Creative Cluster project will contribute significantly to the growth and development of Luton by providing 28,000sqft of creative business workspace; supporting 162 additional creative and digital industries jobs; and boosting the local economy by attracting 193,000 more visits to the cultural quarter.
The Creative Cluster project will develop workspaces specifically for the creative and digital industry, and will provide workshops with specialist equipment and infrastructure to grow skills and talent. Through this funding, Luton Culture will develop the infrastructure that will bring creative and talented people together so that they can innovate, collaborate and celebrate creative success.
Luton Culture has also applied to Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council for funding to maximise the potential of this project and Luton Borough Council has already provided their support.
Cllr Hazel Simmons, Leader of Luton Borough Council, said: “This is more fantastic news for the town and we are delighted with the initiative, ambition and vision shown by Luton Culture who are a key partner in Luton’s £1.5billion Investment Framework which is providing a range of opportunities for local people and making a positive impact on lives. This latest successful bid follows millions already secured for a variety of cultural projects which ensure Luton continues its transformation into an established and inclusive cultural and creative destination, with something for everyone of all ages and from all backgrounds.”
It is anticipated that work on the Creative Cluster will start in 2018 and be completed by 2021. Luton Culture will be sharing the detailed plans of the scheme in the summer.