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LUTON (/ˈluːtən/ ( listen ) LOOT-ən ) is a large town in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
, England, 20 miles (30 km) east of Aylesbury
Aylesbury
, 14 miles (20 km) west of Stevenage , 30 miles (50 km) northwest of London , and 22 miles (40 km) southeast of Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
.

London
London
Luton Airport , opened in 1938, is one of Britain's major airports. The University of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
is also based in the town.

Luton
Luton
is home to League Two team Luton
Luton
Town Football Club , whose history includes several spells in the top flight of the English league as well as a Football League Cup
Football League Cup
triumph in 1988. They play at Kenilworth Road
Kenilworth Road
, their home since 1905.

The town was for many years famous for hat-making , and also had a large Vauxhall Motors factory. Car production at the plant began in 1905 and continued until 2002. Production of commercial vehicles continues, and the head office of Vauxhall Motors is still in the town.

Luton Carnival
Luton Carnival
, traditionally held on the Whitsun May bank holiday , is the largest one-day carnival in Europe.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 Etymology * 1.2 Early history * 1.3 17th century * 1.4 18th century * 1.5 19th century * 1.6 20th century * 1.7 21st century

* 2 Governance

* 2.1 Parliamentary representation * 2.2 Police and crime commissioner * 2.3 Local council * 2.4 Luton
Luton
Council coat of arms

* 3 Geography

* 3.1 Climate * 3.2 Areas

* 4 Demography

* 4.1 Ethnicity * 4.2 Religion * 4.3 Economic activity

* 5 Economy

* 5.1 Shopping * 5.2 Food and drink * 5.3 Principal employers

* 6 Transport * 7 Education

* 8 Culture and leisure

* 8.1 Sport * 8.2 Wardown Park * 8.3 Stockwood Park * 8.4 Carnival
Carnival
* 8.5 Luton
Luton
St. Patrick\'s Festival * 8.6 Theatre

* 8.7 Museums

* 8.7.1 Wardown House * 8.7.2 Stockwood Discovery Centre * 8.7.3 Mossman Collection

* 8.8 Local attractions

* 9 Twin towns

* 10 Media

* 10.1 Newspapers * 10.2 Radio * 10.3 Television * 10.4 Media references

* 11 Lutonians

* 11.1 By birth * 11.2 By association

* 12 See also

* 13 References

* 13.1 Bibliography

* 14 External links

HISTORY

Main article: History of Luton

ETYMOLOGY

Luton
Luton
derives its name from Saxon -tun (meaning enclosure, estate or homestead), and the Brittonic element -lug (meaning 'bright', 'light' or referring to the associated Celtic deity Lugus
Lugus
). The joint linguistic heritage may indicate the town's foundation as an early Anglo-Saxon outpost in a newly conquered area.

EARLY HISTORY

The earliest settlements in the Luton
Luton
area were at Round Green and Mixes Hill, where Paleolithic
Paleolithic
encampments (about 250,000 years old) have been found. Settlements re-appeared after the ice had retreated in the Mesolithic
Mesolithic
period around 8000 BC. Traces of these settlements have been found in the Leagrave area of the modern town. Remains from the Neolithic
Neolithic
period (4500–2500 BC in this area) are much more common. A particular concentration of Neolithic
Neolithic
burials occurs at Galley Hill. The most prominent Neolithic
Neolithic
structure is Waulud\'s Bank – a henge dating from around 3000 BC. From the Neolithic
Neolithic
onwards, the area seems to have been populated, but without any single large settlement. Luton
Luton
itself is believed to have been founded as Lea-tun by the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
sometime in the 6th century.

After the establishment of the Danelaw
Danelaw
in the east of England
England
and the unification of the remaining English kingdoms in the west, Luton
Luton
stood on the border between Christendom
Christendom
and Heathenism which ran up the River Lea
River Lea
from London
London
through to Bedford.

The Anglo Saxon Chronicle for the year 913 mentions Luton
Luton
because locals fought off a Viking
Viking
raiding band: "In this year the army from Northampton and Leicester
Leicester
rode out after Easter and broke the peace, and killed many men at Hook Norton and round about there. And then very soon after that, as the one force came home, they met another raiding band which rode out against Luton. And then the people of the district became aware of it and fought against them and reduced them to full flight and rescued all that they had captured and also a great part of their horses and their weapons".

Archaeological finds for this genesis of Lutonian history include 50 burials, 8 cremations, 16 spears, 22 knives (seax ), a sword, 8 shield bosses, a pair of iron shears, a single bone comb, countless examples of brooches, pendants and other jewellery of bronze and amber and shards of pottery.

The Domesday Book
Domesday Book
records Luton
Luton
as Loitone and also as Lintone. Agriculture dominated the local economy at that time, and the town's population was around 700 to 800. But this number could represent a recently reduced population as a direct result of the Norman Invasion and the English resistance that followed. The Domesday Book
Domesday Book
records the value of King William\'s English possessions 20 years after his victory at Hastings, during which period, as the book would suggest, much destruction and death took place. Besides Luton, Biscot and Caddington also have entries in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
for the surrounding area and in both these cases the value of the lands are much lower than their pre-invasion state, indicating a loss of households, livestock and crops. St Mary\'s Church , Luton
Luton
town centre The Wenlock chapel within St Mary's

In 1121 Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester
started work on St Mary\'s Church in the centre of the town. The work was completed by 1137. A motte-and-bailey castle which gives its name to the modern Castle Street was built in 1139. The castle was demolished in 1154 and the site is now occupied by a Matalan store. During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
Luton is recorded as having six watermills . Mill Street, in the town centre , takes its name from one of them.

King John (1166–1216) had hired a mercenary soldier, Falkes de Breauté , to act on his behalf. (Breauté is a small town near Le Havre in France.) When he married, Falkes de Breauté acquired his wife's house which came to be known as "Fawkes Hall", subsequently corrupted over the years to "Foxhall", then to " Vauxhall
Vauxhall
". In return for his services, King John granted Falkes the manor of Luton, where he built a castle alongside St Mary\'s Church . He was also granted the right to bear his own coat of arms and chose the mythical griffin as his heraldic emblem. The griffin thus became associated with both Vauxhall
Vauxhall
and Luton
Luton
in the early 13th century.

By 1240 the town is recorded as "Leueton". One "Simon of Luton" was Abbot of Bury St Edmunds from 1257 to 1279. The town had a market for surrounding villages in August each year, and with the growth of the town a second fair was granted each October from 1338.

In 1336 a large fire destroyed much of Luton; however, the town was soon rebuilt.

The agriculture base of the town changed in the 16th century with a brick-making industry developing around Luton; many of the older wooden houses were rebuilt in brick.

17TH CENTURY

During the English Civil War
English Civil War
of the 17th century, in 1645, royalists entered the town and demanded money and goods. Parliamentary forces arrived and during the fighting four royalist soldiers were killed and a further twenty-two were captured. A second skirmish occurred three years later in 1648 when a royalist army passed through Luton. A number of royalists were attacked by parliamentary soldiers at an inn on the corner of the current Bridge Street. Most of the royalists escaped but nine were killed.

18TH CENTURY

The hat making industry began in the 17th century and became synonymous with the town. By the 18th century the industry dominated the town. Hats are still produced in the town but on a much smaller scale.

The first Luton Workhouse was constructed in the town in 1722.

Luton Hoo
Luton Hoo
, a nearby large country house , was built in 1767 and substantially rebuilt after a fire in 1843. It is now a luxury hotel.

19TH CENTURY

A map of Luton
Luton
from 1888

The town grew strongly in the 19th century. In 1801 the population was 3,095. By 1850 it was over 10,000 and by 1901 it was almost 39,000. Such rapid growth demanded a railway connection but the town had to wait a long time for one. The London
London
and Birmingham Railway (L&BR) had been built through Tring in 1838, and the Great Northern Railway was built through Hitchin in 1852, both bypassing Luton, the largest town in the area. A branch line connecting with the L"> Luton Museum & Art Gallery in Wardown Park

In the 20th century, the hat trade severely declined and was replaced by other industries. In 1905, Vauxhall Motors opened the largest car plant in the United Kingdom in Luton. In 1914 Hewlett the site was purchased in 1920 by new proprietors Electrolux
Electrolux
domestic appliances, and this was followed by other light engineering businesses.

In 1901 the Bailey Water Tower was built on the edge of what was to become Luton Hoo
Luton Hoo
memorial park. It is now a private residence.

In 1904 councillors Asher Hucklesby and Edwin Oakley purchased the estate at Wardown Park and donated it to the people of Luton. Hucklesby went on to become Mayor of Luton. The main house in the park became Wardown Park Museum .

The town had a tram system from 1908 until 1932, and the first cinema was opened in 1909. By 1914 the population had reached 50,000.

The original town hall was destroyed in 1919 during Peace Day celebrations at the end of the First World War
First World War
. Local people, including many ex-servicemen, were unhappy with unemployment and had been refused the use of a local park to hold celebratory events. They stormed the town hall, setting it alight (see Luton Town Hall ). A replacement building was completed in 1936. Luton Airport opened in 1938, owned and operated by the council. The first town hall was destroyed in 1919

The pre-war years, even at the turn of the 1930s when a Great Depression saw unemployment reach record levels nationally, were something of an economic boom for Luton, as new industries grew and prospered. New private and council housing was built in the 1920s and 1930s, with Luton
Luton
growing as a town to incorporate nearby villages Leagrave , Limbury and Stopsley between 1928 and 1933.

In the Second World War
Second World War
, the Vauxhall
Vauxhall
Factory built Churchill tanks as part of the war effort . Despite heavy camouflage, the factory made Luton
Luton
a target for the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
and the town suffered a number of air raids . 107 died and there was extensive damage to the town (over 1,500 homes were damaged or destroyed). Other industry in the town, such as SKF , which produced ball bearings , made a vital contribution to the war effort. Although a bomb landed at the SKF Factory, no major damage was caused. Post-war, the slum clearance continued, and a number of substantial estates of council housing were built, notably at Farley Hill , Stopsley , Limbury , Marsh Farm and Leagrave ( Hockwell Ring ). The M1 motorway
M1 motorway
passed just to the west of the town, opening in 1959 and giving it a direct motorway link with London
London
and – eventually – the Midlands and the North. In 1962 a new library (to replace the cramped Carnegie Library
Carnegie Library
) was opened by the Queen in the corner of St George's Square.

In the late 1960s a large part of the town centre was cleared to build a large covered shopping centre, the Arndale Centre , which was opened in 1972. It was refurbished and given a glass roof in the 1990s. The town centre still has some of the old hat factories

In 2000, Vauxhall
Vauxhall
announced the end of car production in Luton; the plant closed in March 2002. At its peak it had employed in excess of 30,000 people. Vauxhall's headquarters remain in the town, as does its van and light commercial vehicle factory.

21ST CENTURY

A major regeneration programme for the town centre is under way, which will include upgrades to the town's bus and railway stations as well as improvements to the town's urban environment. St George's Square has been rebuilt and reopened in 2007. The new design won a Gold Standard Award for the Town Centre Environment from the annual British Council of Shopping Centres awards.

Work was completed on an extension to the Mall Shopping Centre facing St George's Square, the largest of the new units to was taken by TK Maxx . Planning applications for a much larger extension to the Mall Arndale Shopping Centre (In the Northern Gateway area – Bute Street, Silver Street and Guildford
Guildford
Street) and also for a new centre in Power Court (close to St Mary\'s Church ) have been submitted. On the edge of Luton
Luton
at Putteridge Bury
Putteridge Bury
a high-technology office park, Butterfield Green , is under construction. The former Vauxhall
Vauxhall
site is also to be re-developed as a mixed use site called Napier Park. It will feature housing, retail and entertainment use, including a new casino .

GOVERNANCE

Logo of Luton
Luton
Unitary Authority
Unitary Authority

The town is situated within the historic county of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
, but since 1997 Luton
Luton
has been an administratively independent unitary authority . The town remains part of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
for ceremonial purposes.

Luton Borough Council applied for city status at the Millennium in 2000, Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 2002 and Diamond Jubilee in 2012. The latest bid was rejected in March 2012.

PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION

Main article: Politics in Luton

Luton
Luton
is represented by two Members of Parliament . The constituency of Luton
Luton
North has been held by Kelvin Hopkins (Labour) since 1997. Luton
Luton
South has been held by Gavin Shuker (Labour) since 2010. Luton is within the East of England
East of England
European Parliament constituency.

POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER

Luton
Luton
is served by the Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
police . The Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Police and Crime Commissioner is Kathryn Holloway .

LOCAL COUNCIL

Lutonians are governed by Luton Borough Council . The town is split into 19 wards , represented by 48 councillors. Elections are held for all seats every four years, with the most recent local elections held in May 2011 and the next due in May 2015. The Council is controlled by the Labour group, who have 36 Local Councillors (a majority of 24). The next largest party is the Liberal Democrats with 8 seats, followed by the Conservative Party with 4 seats.

POSITION CURRENT REPRESENTATIVES

Members of Parliament Kelvin Hopkins , Labour , elected 1997 · Gavin Shuker , Labour, elected 2010

LUTON COUNCIL COAT OF ARMS

Luton Borough Council coat of arms: granted 25 July 1876

In 1876 the town council was granted its own coat of arms . The wheatsheaf was used on the crest to represent agriculture and the supply of straw used in the local hatting industry (the straw-plaiting industry was brought to Luton
Luton
by a group of Scots under the protection of Sir John Napier
John Napier
of Luton Hoo
Luton Hoo
). The bee is traditionally the emblem of industry and the hive represents the straw-plaiting industry for which Luton
Luton
was famous. The rose is from the arms of the Napier family, whereas the thistle is a symbol for Scotland
Scotland
. An alternative suggestion is that the rose was a national emblem, and the thistle represents the Marquess of Bute , who formerly owned the Manor of Luton
Luton
Hoo.

GEOGRAPHY

‹ The template below (Geographic location ) is being considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus. ›

NEIGHBOURING AREAS

Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Bedford
Bedford
Hitchin

Dunstable

Stevenage

LUTON

Berkhamsted
Berkhamsted
Hemel Hempstead Harpenden

A pedestrian suspension bridge spans the River Lea
River Lea
in Wardown Park .

Luton
Luton
is located in a break in the Eastern part of the Chiltern Hills . The Chilterns are a mixture of chalk from the Cretaceous
Cretaceous
period (about 66 – 145 million years ago) and deposits laid at the southernmost points of the ice sheet during the last ice age (the Warden Hills area can be seen from much of the town).

Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
had a reputation for brick making but the industry is now significantly reduced. The brickworks at Stopsley took advantage of the clay deposits in the east of the town.

The source of the River Lea
River Lea
, part of the Thames Valley drainage basin , is in the Leagrave area of the town. The Great Bramingham Wood surrounds this area. It is classified as ancient woodland ; records mention the wood at least 400 years ago.

There are few routes through the hilly area for some miles, this has led to several major roads (including the M1 and the A6 ) and a major rail-link being constructed through the town.

CLIMATE

Luton
Luton
has a temperate marine climate , like much of the British Isles , with generally light precipitation throughout the year. The weather is very changeable from day to day and the warming influence of the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
makes the region mild for its latitude . The average total annual rainfall is 698 mm (27.5 in) with rain falling on 117 days of the year. Snow accumulation over the Chiltern hills during October 2008 snowfall, Luton
Luton
is denoted by the yellow dot.

The local climate around Luton
Luton
is differentiated somewhat from much of South East England
England
due to its position in the Chiltern Hills , meaning it tends to be 1–2 degrees Celsius cooler than the surrounding towns – often flights at Luton
Luton
airport , lying 160 m (525 ft) above sea level, will be suspended when marginal snow events occur, while airports at lower elevations, such as Heathrow , at 25 m (82 ft) above sea level, continue to function. An example of this is shown in the photograph to the right, the snowline being about 100 m (328 ft) above sea level . Absolute temperature extremes recorded at Rothamsted Research Station, 5 miles (8 km) south south east of Luton town centre and at a similar elevation range from −17.0 °C (1.4 °F) in December 1981 and −16.7 °C (1.9 °F) in January 1963 to 36.0 °C (96.8 °F) in August 2003 and 33.8 °C (92.8 °F) in August 1990 and July 2006. Records for Rothamsted date back to 1901.

CLIMATE DATA FOR ROTHAMSTED 1971–2000 (WEATHER STATION 5 MILES (8 KM) TO THE SOUTH OF LUTON)

MONTH JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC YEAR

AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F) 6.3 (43.3) 6.7 (44.1) 9.5 (49.1) 11.9 (53.4) 15.7 (60.3) 18.6 (65.5) 21.4 (70.5) 21.4 (70.5) 18.0 (64.4) 13.8 (56.8) 9.4 (48.9) 7.2 (45) 13.4 (56.1)

AVERAGE LOW °C (°F) 0.9 (33.6) 0.7 (33.3) 2.3 (36.1) 3.6 (38.5) 6.3 (43.3) 9.2 (48.6) 11.4 (52.5) 11.4 (52.5) 9.5 (49.1) 6.7 (44.1) 3.3 (37.9) 1.9 (35.4) 5.6 (42.1)

AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES) 69.5 (2.736) 47.3 (1.862) 54.0 (2.126) 53.1 (2.091) 49.8 (1.961) 60.4 (2.378) 41.2 (1.622) 53.6 (2.11) 60.9 (2.398) 74.4 (2.929) 66.0 (2.598) 67.6 (2.661) 697.8 (27.472)

MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS 55.2 70.6 107.3 146.7 194.7 190.2 203.4 196.5 142.2 112.2 70.2 48.1 1,537.2

Source: Met Office
Met Office

AREAS

The Victorian expansion of Luton
Luton
focused on areas close to the existing town centre and railways. In the 1920s and 1930s growth typically was though absorbing neighbouring villages and hamlets(an example being Leagrave) and infill construction between them and Luton. After the Second World War
Second World War
there were several estates and developments constructed both by the local council such as Farley Hill or Marsh Farm, or privately such as Bushmead.

* Barnfield * Biscot * Bramingham * Challney * Crawley
Crawley
* Dallow * Farley Hill * High Town * Icknield * Leagrave

* Lewsey * Limbury-cum- Biscot * Northwell * Round Green * Saints * South ward * Stopsley * Sundon Park
Sundon Park
* Wigmore

MORE about Places within Luton

DEMOGRAPHY

Main article: Demography of Luton

Racial structure, according to the 2011 census White (54.6%) Asian (30.0%) Black (9.8%) Mixed (4.1%) Other (1.5%)

The United Kingdom Census 2011
United Kingdom Census 2011
showed that the borough had a population of 203,201, a 10.2% increase from the previous census in 2001, when Luton
Luton
was the 27th largest settlement in the United Kingdom. In 2011, 46,756 were aged under 16, 145,208 were 16 to 74, and 11,237 were 75 or over. The latest population figure for the borough is 216,800 (mid-2016 est.).

POPULATION SINCE 1801 – Source: A Vision of Britain through Time

YEAR 1801 1851 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001 2011

POPULATION LUTON 2,985 11,067 31,981 49,315 57,378 66,762 84,516 106,999 132,017 162,928 163,208 174,567 184,390 203,201

Local inhabitants are known as Lutonians.

ETHNICITY

Religion in Luton
Luton
(2011 census) Christianity
Christianity
(46.4%) Islam (25.6%) Hinduism
Hinduism
(3.3%) Sikhism
Sikhism
(1.1%) Other religions (0.7%) Not stated (7.2%) No religion (16.5%)

Luton
Luton
has seen several waves of immigration. In the early part of the 20th century Irish and Scottish people arrived in the town – these were followed by Afro-Caribbean and Asian immigrants. More recently immigrants from other European Union countries have made Luton
Luton
their home. As a result of this Luton
Luton
has a diverse ethnic mix, with a significant population of Asian descent, mainly Pakistani 29,353 (14.4%) and Bangladeshi 13,606 (6.7%).

Since the 2011 census, Luton
Luton
has become one of three white British -minority towns in the United Kingdom. It was announced in a report based on the census figures that along with Leicester
Leicester
and Slough
Slough
, Luton
Luton
was one of three towns outside London
London
where the white British were now a minority, making up only 45% of Luton's population. However, the town still has a white majority when non-British whites such as the Irish and Eastern Europeans are included, and 81% of the population of Luton
Luton
still define themselves as British, despite the majority of its residents being from a foreign ethnic background.

LUTON: ETHNICITY: 2011 Census

ETHNIC GROUP POPULATION %

White 111,079 54.6

Mixed 8,281 4.1

Asian or Asian British 60,952 30.0

Black or Black British 19,909 9.8

Other Ethnic Group 2.980 1.5

Total 203,201 100

RELIGION

The Methodist
Methodist
Chapel in High Town (built 1897) The Guru Nanak Gurdwara Sikh
Sikh
Temple, Luton
Luton

In the ten-year period since the United Kingdom Census 2001
United Kingdom Census 2001
, the percentage of inhabitants in Luton
Luton
reporting being Christian fell from 60 to 47%. Meanwhile, those reporting being Muslim
Muslim
increased from 15 to 25%.

RELIGION POPULATION %

Christian 96,271 46.4

Muslim 51,992 25.6

Hindu 6,749 1.0

Sikh 2,347 1.0

Buddhist 652 0.3

Jewish 326 0.2

Other 898 0.4

No religion 33,594 16.5

Religion not stated 12,373 6.1

Luton
Luton
has been identified in the media as a home of people with extremist social and religious viewpoints. The Muslim
Muslim
group Al-Muhajiroun was based there before it was banned, and the founder of the English Defence League is from Luton. A Muslim
Muslim
protest in March 2009 against soldiers returning from the Iraq War
Iraq War
was followed by a counter-demonstration opposing sharia law in the United Kingdom. However, many residents say that the numbers of extremists, both Muslims and far-right, are small. Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain lives in Luton, and a local representative of Churches Together described "the reality of life in the town" as "a healthy interaction between people of different faiths".

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

Of the town's working population (classified 16–74 years of age by the Office for National Statistics
Office for National Statistics
), 63% are employed. This figure includes students, the self-employed and those who are in part-time employment. 11% are retired, 8% look after the family or take care of the home and 5% are unemployed.

ECONOMY

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Main article: Economy of Luton Griffin
Griffin
House, headquarters of Vauxhall Motors Hangar 89, EasyJet
EasyJet
headquarters

Luton's economy has, traditionally been focused on several different areas of industry including Car Manufacture , engineering and millinery . However, today, Luton
Luton
is moving towards a service based economy mainly in the retail and the airport sectors, although there is still a focus on light industry in the town.

Notable firms with headquarters in Luton
Luton
include:

* EasyJet
EasyJet
– head office (originally EasyLand, later moved into Hangar 89 ) and main base at London
London
Luton Airport * Impellam Group – headquarters at Capability Green * Monarch Airlines – headquarters at Luton Airport (Prospect House) * TUI UK ( Thomson Holidays and Thomson Airways ) – travel (Wigmore House) * Vauxhall Motors – headquarters ( Griffin
Griffin
House)

Notable firms with offices in Luton
Luton
include:

* Anritsu – electronics * AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca
– pharmaceuticals * Selex ES – aerospace * Ernst "> The Mall Luton
The Mall Luton
, the main shopping destination in Luton.

The main shopping area in Luton
Luton
is centred on the Mall Luton
Luton
. Built in the 1960s/1970s and opened as an Arndale Centre , construction of the shopping centre led to the demolition of a number of the older buildings in the town centre including the Plait Halls (a Victorian covered market building with an iron and glass roof). Shops and businesses in the remaining streets, particularly in the roads around Cheapside and in High Town, have been in decline ever since. George Street, on the south side of the Arndale, was pedestrianised in the 1990s.

The shopping centre had some construction and re-design work done to it over the 2011/12 period and now has a new square used for leisure events, as well as numerous new food restaurants such as Toby's Carvery and Costa Coffee
Costa Coffee
.

Contained within the main shopping centre is the market, which contains butchers, fishmongers, fruit and veg, hairdressers, tattoo parlours, ice cream, flower stall, T-shirt printing and the markets original sewing shop for clothes alterations and repairs as well as eating places.

Another major shopping area is Bury Park where there are shops catering to Luton's ethnic minorities.

FOOD AND DRINK

Luton
Luton
has a diverse selection of restaurants – English , Italian , Chinese , Indian , Caribbean , Thai and Malaysian to name a few. No area of the town is specifically restaurant-orientated, but in some areas (such as Bury Park ) there is a concentration of Asian restaurants.

There are pubs and clubs in the town centre, a number of which cater for the student population; however, a number of traditional pubs remain.

PRINCIPAL EMPLOYERS

According to the Luton
Luton
Borough Council, the principal employers in the town are:

# EMPLOYER # OF EMPLOYEES

1 Luton Borough Council 8,000+

2 Luton
Luton
and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 4,000+

3 Aircraft Service International Group 1,000–1,999

3 Carlisle Security Services 1,000–1,999

5 EasyJet
EasyJet
1,000–1,999

6 Menzies Aviation 1,000–1,999

7 Randstad 1,000–1,999

8 TUI 1,000–1,999

9 University of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
1,000–1,999

TRANSPORT

Main article: Transport in Luton East Midlands Trains approaching Luton Airport Parkway

Luton
Luton
is situated less than 30 miles north of the centre of London, giving it good links with the City and other parts of the country via the motorway network and the National Rail
National Rail
system. Luton
Luton
is also home to London
London
Luton Airport , one of the major feeder airports for London and the southeast. A network of bus services run by Arriva
Arriva
and Centrebus
Centrebus
serves the urban area of Luton
Luton
and Dunstable, and in 2013 a bus rapid transit route opened, the Luton
Luton
to Dunstable Busway , connecting the town with the Airport.

Luton
Luton
is also served by a large taxi network. As a Unitary Authority , Luton Borough Council is responsible for the local highways and public transport in the Borough and licensing of Taxis.

EDUCATION

University of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
Luton
Luton
Main article: Education in Luton
Luton

Luton
Luton
is one of the main locations of the University of Bedfordshire . A large campus of the university is in Luton
Luton
town centre, with a smaller campus based on the edge of town in Putteridge Bury
Putteridge Bury
, an old Victorian manor house. The other main campus of the university is located in Bedford
Bedford
.

The town is home to Luton Sixth Form College and Barnfield College . Both have been awarded Learning "> Kenilworth Road
Kenilworth Road
, home to Luton Town Football Club Main article: Sport in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire

Luton
Luton
is the home town of Luton
Luton
Town Football Club who currently play in the Football League 2, Their nickname, "The Hatters", dates back to when Luton
Luton
had a substantial millinery industry. The club began the 2008/09 season with a thirty-point deficit, and were consequently relegated from the Football League to the Conference Premier on 13 April 2009. However, Luton
Luton
did win the Football League Trophy that year in front of 42,000 Luton
Luton
fans at Wembley, despite being the lowest placed team in the competition for the whole season, Conference Premier after failing to win automatic promotion to Football League Two during the 2009–10, 2010–11 and 2011–12 seasons. Luton
Luton
were beaten 2–0 on aggregate by York
York
City in the semi finals of the playoffs, and therefore failed to progress to the final at Wembley Stadium . The following season Luton
Luton
progressed to the final of the playoffs, losing to Wimbledon on penalties. In 2011–12 once again the team reached the final of the play-offs, only to lose 2–1 to York. Luton
Luton
were promoted back to the football league as champions of the Conference in 2014.

Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
County Cricket
Cricket
Club is based at Wardown Park and is one of the county clubs which make up the Minor Counties in the English domestic cricket structure, representing the historic county of Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
and competing in the Minor Counties Championship and the MCCA Knockout Trophy .

Speedway racing was staged in Luton
Luton
in the mid-1930s.

The town has three rugby union clubs – Stockwood Park Rugby Club who play in Midlands 3 SE, Luton Rugby Club who play in London
London
1 North, and Vauxhall Motors RFC who do not currently play in the RFU league structure.

WARDOWN PARK

The Daisy-Chain Wall in Wardown Park . Main article: Wardown Park

Wardown Park is situated on the River Lea
River Lea
in Luton. The park has sporting facilities, is home to the Wardown Park Museum and contains formal gardens. The park is located between Old Bedford
Bedford
Road and the A6, New Bedford
Bedford
Road and is within walking distance of the town centre.

STOCKWOOD PARK

Stockwood Park , Luton
Luton
Main article: Stockwood Park

Stockwood Park is a large municipal park near Junction 10 of the M1 . Located in the park is Stockwood Discovery Centre a free museum that houses the Mossman Collection and Luton
Luton
local social history, archaeology and geology. There is an athletics track, an 18-hole golf course, several rugby pitches and areas of open space.

The park was originally the estate and grounds to Stockwood house, which was demolished in 1964.

CARNIVAL

Main article: Luton
Luton
International Carnival
Carnival

Luton
Luton
International Carnival
Carnival
is the largest one-day carnival in Europe. It usually takes place on the late May Bank Holiday. Crowds can reach 150,000 on each occasion.

The procession starts at Wardown Park and makes its way down New Bedford
Bedford
Road, around the town centre via St George's Square, back down New Bedford
Bedford
Road and finishes back at Wardown Park. There are music stages and stalls around the town centre and at Wardown Park.

Luton
Luton
is home to the UK Centre for Carnival
Carnival
Arts (UKCCA), the country's first purpose-built facility of its kind.

Due to budget cuts, the most recent carnival was run on a significantly smaller scale, with approximately one third of the typical attendance – most of the attendees were residents of the Luton
Luton
area.

LUTON ST. PATRICK\'S FESTIVAL

The festival celebrating the patron saint of Ireland
Ireland
and organised by Luton
Luton
Irish Forum, St Patrick , is held on the weekend nearest to 17 March. In its 15th year in 2014, the festival includes a parade, market stalls and music stands as well as Irish themed events.

THEATRE

Luton
Luton
is home to the Library Theatre, a 238-seat theatre located on the 3rd floor of the town's Central Library. The theatre's programme consists of local amateur dramatic societies, pantomime, children's theatre (on Saturday mornings) and one night shows of touring theatre companies.

Luton
Luton
is also home to the Hat
Hat
Factory, originally as its name suggests, this arts centre was in fact a real hat factory. The Hat Factory is a combined arts venue in the centre of Luton. It opened in 2003 and since then has been the area’s main provider of contemporary theatre, dance and music. The venue provides live music, club nights, theatre, dance, films, children's activities, workshops, classes and gallery exhibitions.

MUSEUMS

Wardown House

Wardown House Museum and Gallery, previously known as Luton
Luton
Museum and Art Gallery, is housed in a large Victorian mansion in Wardown Park on the outskirts of the town centre. The museum collection focusses on the traditional crafts and industry of Luton
Luton
and Bedfordshire, notably lace-making and hat-making. There are samples of local lace from as early as the 17th century.

Stockwood Discovery Centre

Main article: Stockwood Craft Museum

Based in Stockwood Park , Luton, the collection of rural crafts and trades held at Stockwood Discovery Centre was amassed by Thomas Wyatt Bagshawe, who was a notable local historian and a leading authority on folk life. Bagshawe was born in Dunstable in 1901 and became a director of the family engineering firm.

The collection only contains examples from Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
and the borders of neighbouring counties, giving the collection a very strong regional identity.

Mossman Collection

Part of the Mossman Collection . Main article: Mossman Collection

The Mossman Carriage collection is held at Stockwood Park , Luton
Luton
and is the largest and most significant vehicle collection of its kind in the country, including originals from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The Mossman collection of horse-drawn vehicles was given to Luton Museum Service in 1991. It illustrates the development of horse-drawn road transport in Britain from Roman times up until the 1930s.

LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

KEY

Abbey/Priory/Cathedral

Accessible open space

Amusement/Theme Park

Castle

Country Park

English Heritage
English Heritage

Forestry Commission

Heritage railway

Historic House

Museum (free/not free)

National Trust

Theatre

Zoo

* Dunstable Downs * Chiltern Hills * Leagrave Park * Leighton Buzzard Light Railway * Galley and Warden Hills Nature Reserve * The Hat
Hat
Factory * Luton Hoo
Luton Hoo
* Someries Castle * Stockwood Discovery Centre * Stockwood Park * Wardown Park * Wardown Park Museum * Waulud\'s Bank * Whipsnade Tree Cathedral * Whipsnade Zoo * Woburn Safari Park * Woodside Farm and Wildfowl Park * Wrest Park
Wrest Park

TWIN TOWNS

Luton
Luton
participates in international town twinning ; its partners are:

COUNTRY PLACE COUNTY / DISTRICT / REGION / STATE DATE

Germany

BERGISCH GLADBACH

North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
1956

France

BOURGOIN-JALLIEU

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
1956

Sweden
Sweden

ESKILSTUNA

Södermanland 1949

Germany

BERLIN -SPANDAU

Berlin
Berlin
1959

Germany

WOLFSBURG

Lower Saxony 1950

MEDIA

NEWSPAPERS

* Luton
Luton
News, published every Wednesday * Luton
Luton
Herald -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em;">

* Mick Abrahams , guitarist for Jethro Tull * Jordan Thomas , World and European Karate Champion * Tony Bignell , actor/singer * David Arnold , composer * Emily Atack , actress * Keshi Anderson , footballer * John Badham , film director * Clive Barker , sculptor and artist * Jonathan Barnbrook , graphic designer, typographer * Leon Barnett , footballer * John D. Bernard , businessman * Kevin Blackwell , goalkeeper, football manager * Dean Brill
Dean Brill
, footballer * Clive Bunker , drummer for Jethro Tull * Danny Cannon , screenwriter, director and producer * Ian Cashmore , actor * Gerald Anthony Coles , artist * Natasha Collins , actress and TV presenter * Steve Dillon
Steve Dillon
, comic artist * Kerry Dixon , footballer * Stacey Dooley , journalist and television presenter * Jonathan Edwards , footballer * Simon Fenton , actor * Kevin Foley , footballer * Sean Gallagher , actor * Liam George , footballer * John Hagan , 8th master chief petty officer , US Navy * Arthur Hailey , novelist * Neil Halstead , musician * Jaymi Hensley , singer of Union J * Nadiya Hussain , winner of The Great British Bake Off * Neil Jackson , actor * Stephen Kelman , novelist * Ronnie Lee , founder of the Animal Liberation Front
Animal Liberation Front
* Stuart Lewis-Evans , Formula One driver * Sir Frederick Mander , General Secretary of the NUT * Monty Panesar cricketer * John Payne , musician * Phil Read , motorcycle racer * David Renwick , scriptwriter * Stu Riddle , footballer * Vaughan Savidge , announcer * Billy Schwer , boxer * Andy Selway , drummer * Gavin Shuker , Labour party politician * Junior Simpson , comedian * Will Smith , cricketer * Paul Sinha , one of the Chasers on The Chase * David Stoten , artist * Mark Titchner , artist * UK Decay , band * Jamie Woolford , musician for The Stereo , Animal Chin and Let Go , music producer * Stephen Yaxley-Lennon , political activist * Paul Young , singer

BY ASSOCIATION

* Ian Anderson , leader of British rock band Jethro Tull * Stefan Bailey , footballer * Rodney Bewes , actor * Charles Bronson , prisoner * Mo Chaudry , entrepreneur * Diana Dors
Diana Dors
, actress * Ian Dury
Ian Dury
, singer * Danny Dyer , actor * John Hegley , poet * Hilda Hewlett , UK's first female pilot * Sir Alec Jeffreys
Alec Jeffreys
, geneticist * Sarfraz Manzoor , author and columnist, The Guardian * Elizabeth Price , artist * Eric Morecambe , entertainer * Lee Ross , actor * Colin Salmon , actor * Edward Tudor-Pole , singer and actor * Kenneth Williams , actor * Richard Wiseman
Richard Wiseman
, psychologist

SEE ALSO

* Luton
Luton
portal

* Outline of England
England
* Healthcare in Bedfordshire
Bedfordshire
* Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Luton
Luton

REFERENCES

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

* Dyer, James; Stygall, Frank; Dony, John (1964). The Story of Luton. Luton: White Crescent Press.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Look up LUTON in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1921 Collier\'s

.