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Luton Culture buys site for high quality workspace for region's creative industries

12 June 2018

Luton Culture buys demolished site to fill gap in high quality workspace for the region’s creative industries

On 6 June 2018, Luton Culture charitable Trust secured a vacant plot of land on Guildford Street. On this gap-site the charity is planning to build ‘Hat Studios’ with £3.9m funding from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) through government’s Local Growth Fund. The new building will provide 8,500 sq. ft. of workspace for creative industries and retail managed by the Trust.  

This exciting new development forms part of the £6.1m visionary Hat District project led by the arts charity. The project will inject new vibrancy into this run-down part of the conservation area and protect the heritage of old hat factories that are currently falling into disrepair.

Luton Culture Hat District Project

Marie Kirbyshaw, Chief Executive of Luton Culture and Hat District Project Lead, said of the new development:

Hat Studios is the missing jigsaw piece as the Trust develops Hat House, Hat Works and the Hat Factory arts centre into a creative cluster.  This development is critical to Luton Culture’s long-term financial sustainability plan. Income from Hat Studios and Hat House will enable the charity to operate all four of its Hat District buildings financially independent by 2022."

Hat Studios will be architecturally interesting and form part of the Hat District family of restored hat factories. These include the Hat Factory (65-67 Bute Street), Hat Works (47 Guildford Street), Hat House (32 Guildford Street) with shared signage, branding and quality standards.  Two of these sites are vacant historic hat factories, which will be brought back into new use. The buildings are within the Plaiters Lea Conservation Area centrally located in Luton between the main railway station and the town centre. 

Luton Culture has also released the opportunity to tender for the design of Hat Studios through an open competition. Further details can be found online at: www.lutonculture.com and www.hatdistrict.co.uk.

 

Hat Studios will be a new building on the gap-site marked with a cross as shown on the map below.Hat studios locations

 

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