A Starship Robot driving down a streetA Starship Robot driving down a street

Investment Programme

A Starship Robot driving down a street
People talking in a building under constructionPeople talking in a building under construction

Investment Programme

People talking in a building under construction
Northampton College Advanced Engineering CentreNorthampton College Advanced Engineering Centre

Investment Programme

Northampton College Advanced Engineering Centre
School students having a discussion with their teacherSchool students having a discussion with their teacher

Investment Programme

School students having a discussion with their teacher
East Northamptonshire Enterprise CentreEast Northamptonshire Enterprise Centre

Investment Programme

East Northamptonshire Enterprise Centre
Northampton Waterside CampusNorthampton Waterside Campus

Investment Programme

Northampton Waterside Campus

Luton Hat District

7th February 2018

Three Hat Factory buildings have been developed to create a network of creative and digital industry workspaces in the Cultural Quarter, located between Luton Station and Luton Town Centre.

Funding Stream: Local Growth Fund (LGF)
LGF Awarded:
Total Project Cost: £11.46m
Delivery Partner: Luton Culture Trust
Project Status: Due to complete 2021
Projected Outputs: 114 new jobs, 2040m² usable floor space developed, 11 new start ups per annum and more than 1700 new opportunities for skills based learning
Website: www.hatdistrict.co.uk

Evaluation Report

September 2019

On Friday 6 September, the official opening of Luton Hat Factory took place. During the opening, approximately 800 members of the public were able to see the renovated Hat Factory and watch a breath-taking performance to celebrate it being back at the centre of creativity in Luton.

January 2019

December 2018

The Hat District News Issue 2 includes articles such as:

  • Luton's oldest factory on the radio
  • Luton's hat making heritage celebrated on TV
  • These walls tell stories 
  • Roundabout Theatre Installed In St. George's Square

To view issue 2 of the Hat District News, click here.

July 2018


Hat House

  • The design is progressing well.
  • The tender process for M&E consultants progressing.
  • Planning was validated by Luton Borough Council on 22 March 2018.
  • Internal works including asbestos removal was completed on 5 March 2018.
  • Stripping out of internal staircases commenced, and the cast iron external fire escape now demolished.
  • Awaiting final scaffold design and details to allow sign off. Once completed works on fabric can commence.

Hat Factory

  • Planning permission was granted on 31 January 2018.
  • The site is now vacant and ready to hand over to the contractor – start on site expected to be early May 2018.
  • Hoarding will be erected before the start on site with a design for ‘vinyls’ being developed by the marketing team.
  • Review of procurement to ensure affordability - The tender returns for Hat Factory building works have come in over budget, value engineering and discussions/ permissions from the landlord have led to the delay in the start on site which is now August 2018 (rather than June 2018).

Hat Works 

  • Strip out and emergency works largely complete on Hat Works.
  • De-contamination works completed.
  • Fleet Architects have been appointed and are working with an in-house curatorial team on heritage interpretation and are progressing designs.

We secured a vacant plot of land on Guildford Street in early June to build Hat Studios – the fourth and final building in the Hat District project.

June 2018  

On 6 June 2018, Luton Culture charitable Trust secured a vacant plot of land on Guildford Street. This is a key milestone for the Hat District project which aims to build ‘Hat Studios.’ The new building will provide 8,500 sq. ft. of workspace for creative industries and retail managed by the Trust.  Read more... 


Luton Culture Hat District Project


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