Historically associated with hat making, and the car company, ‘Vauxhall’, Luton is a town known more for its working class roots and its diverse demographic – a varied culture that includes a huge population of Asians and mixed ethnic groups. Economically, the town has seen many ups and downs, and the road ahead could prove to be rocky or ‘rosy’, depending on how Britain deals with EU – post Brexit.
Luton Airport (London Luton airport/Luton international), is a major airport for London and South East England, and is a pillar of the Luton economy; Easyjet and Monarch Airlines (low cost carrier) base their operations from Luton airport. Easyjet has announced that it plans to stay in Luton, post brexit – which should be good news for Luton. A financial consultancy has predicted that the plans to expand the Luton airport (expansion by 2020), could generate around £ 1 billion for the economy, and possibly create an additional 10,500 jobs.
The Luton Arndale Mall (one of the largest in UK) occupies much of the town centre, and is home to several high-street retailers, including, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, TK Maxx, etc. The Mall, the Luton Carnival (the largest single-day carnival in UK), and the town centre, are visible testimonies to ‘Luton’s diversity’ (that represents an ‘open, confident Britain’ – words of a former deputy PM); a cultural factor that significantly contributes to Luton’s service economy. Luton town is currently on a mission to attain ‘city’ status in UK.
The 2015 Luton Business Survey conducted by luton web development (luton.gov.uk), does state that most businesses in Luton are happy with their current location, and six in ten businesses does expect an improvement in their performance in the next 12 months. Consultancy.uk in its Jan 2016 report stated that Luton showed the best growth figures in UK, outside of London and Leeds. Luton town has prospects for a rosy future!