We are the Football Family – Luton’s New Stadium
A lot is said about how the wider football family comes together in times of loss or tragedy, this is certainly so, but here is an opportunity for the football family to come together and support something enormously positive.
Luton as a town has been on the receiving end of many negative comments in the past, but with improvements already being made in our town and major redevelopment plans for the future, things are for once actually looking up.
In 2008, Luton Town Football Club was on its knees, I am sure you all know the history by now, but in stepped 2020 headed by Nick Owen and a number of loyal supporters, including our Chief Executive Gary Sweet to take ownership of the club. It was initially an extremely tough time with the work to bring us out of administration, those points deductions and our time in non-league. Since then we have regained our place within the football league structure and solid plans are now in place for the future.
So this is where we want to implore our friends from the wider football community to help us secure our future and change the face of Luton for the next 100 years. Anyone who has visited Kenilworth Road will know something of its history, character and charm, but the reality is, as much as we love our old Kenny (and we know you away supporters secretly do too, especially when you get to spy into our neighbours gardens on the way in), the reality is that the Kenny is a tired old girl who cannot deliver what we need today or in the future.
The vision, since 2020 took over in 2008 has been for Luton Town Football Club to be in our new stadium in or around the 2020 season. Plans have now been submitted to Luton Borough Council to do just that, but these plans are not just about a new stadium, these plans encompass an ambitious vision that will bolster Luton’s regeneration and renewal.
Two planning applications have been submitted, one for Power Court and one for Newlands Park. The consultation period has been extended to the 10th October 2016, with responses being welcomed by Luton Borough Council up to then. You can click here for a summary of the planning application.
The Power Court proposals see it transformed from a post-industrial problem site into a dynamic and appealing environment, delivering new and exciting facilities to enhance the life of the town every day and evening of the year. The impressive and iconic 17,500 seat stadium sitting within an area that will provide a new River Lea frontage for St Mary’s Road within an enhanced public space to complement St Mary’s church, around 500 residential apartments distributed across 5 blocks, great new bars, restaurants, shops and a small niche cinema, a new 1,800 capacity live venue, a hotel and banqueting venue, Creche/play area and potential education and medical facilities, along with a handy supermarket and 100 car parking spaces.
The Newlands Park site is recognised as vital to providing the funding and resources to enable the development of Power Court, so the reality is that we cannot have one without the other which is why we need support for both applications. Newlands Park is a 40-acre site at J10 which is amongst the most visible and prominent development sites in the UK, having been acquired by Luton Town Football Club in 2015.
The aspirational Newlands Park development proposal offers the opportunity to create a game-changing, iconic gateway to Luton, enhancing perceptions, bringing in new business, complementing the town centre and creating 4,000+ new jobs. The core elements of the plan include, high-spec offices, a hotel with conference and meeting facilities, an eye-catching environmentally friendly ‘green’ roof with walking spaces, a aspirational retail trading space ‘anchored’ by a quality department store to complement and enhance existing retail in Luton, an innovative leisure hub housed in an iconic ‘crystal’ design with a high-end cinema and a wide range of innovative active leisure attractions.
We need to make this happen, we are a community club, and as such the plans also include provisions for some of the best access and facilities for disabled people and supporters in the country, with ramp and lift access into the stadium, a choice of viewing areas for wheelchair users, and many more enhancements that will will be finalised prior to the ground opening. We collectively feel that the new stadium will set the bar very high with regard to the facilities and access it will have for both home and visiting disabled supporters.
Let us unite in support of our regeneration and a new stadium for Luton Town Football Club. You can show your support by completing a very simple form here (or click on the picture at the top of this blog), giving your name, address and ticking a few boxes to say why you are in support of our future. The reality is, I know for certain that we as Luton supporters would also do this for you.
We are the Football Family