Luton has a long history of nurturing creative businesses which stretches back to the 17th century when the town became synonymous with the hat making trade.
Its creative economy boasts a thriving community of businesses, supported by tailored accommodation and a university which is one of the leading players in the UK. A range of creative clusters engage in digital and new media, the expressive arts, TV and film production, advertising, marketing, and computer animation and graphics.
Key Businesses In sector
Andrews UK LTD works with major international companies and focuses on ebook digital publishing and distribution, with over 3,500 iphone and ipad book apps live on the itunes system alone. AUK supplies to all major eBook platforms including Amazon Kindle, Apple iBookstore and Android Marketplace.
A Thin Place
A socially minded creative agency delivering award winning results. They make award winning photography, promotional videos, graphic design, branding, social media, marketing, websites and interactive media. ATP is a creative driving force behind numerous local initiatives including Love Luton, their clients include ARUP, Tescos, IET, Randstad and the BBC.
This website agency specialising in creating films and also websites, apps and rebrands. Clearhead has worked with national and international clients including New York University, Republic, Bare Essentials and the NHS.
An innovative digital media company which has become an industry leader in providing innovative software, digital signage and dynamic wayfinding through world-class touchscreen services, mobile phone applications and web and email services. Established in 1999, the company has grown significantly, with an impressive client base including Vodafone, MSN, Westfield, the NHS, RFU and the FA
This growing creative design and print business offers a comprehensive digital media management service and boasts numerous large clients from both the private and public sectors. Specialising in contract publishing, graphic design, digital and lithographic print, website design and search engine marketing.
A multi-level creative media agency specialising in technology solutions, creative and graphic design and print services. Silvertoad focuses on employing local people and giving young people the chance to learn industry skills. Its rapid growth has been fuelled by an ability to serve major brands such as 3663, Wahl Clipper Corporation, Virgin Healthcare and Randstad Recruitment Group.
Established for over 18 years, Tristar TV specialises in the production of TV commercials and broadcast. The company works alongside over 200 TV channels including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky. Facilities include a 1,600sqft chroma-key film studio, sound studio; HD broadcast cameras, six editing suites, in-house graphics, and CGI and animation department.
Luton is a cost-effective alternative to London while providing bespoke commercial premises suitable for the creative industries.
The Hat Factory is the hub for creative businesses in Luton. Developed from an old hat factory, the building offers a mix of business space, a theatre and dance venue and music production studios. Located in the heart of Luton’s town centre, the building is within 100 metres of the train station and acts as the main resource for the creative industries in the town. It is one of Luton's leading arts and entertainment venues, featuring live music, club nights, theatre, dance, films, children's activities, workshops, classes and gallery exhibitions.
The building has managed office space to rent for creative businesses.
Other facilities include:
• recording studio
• meeting rooms and basement lounge.
UK Centre for Carnival Arts and Luton International Carnival
The UK Centre for Carnival Arts is a bespoke centre designed and built to facilitate and prepare for the Luton International Carnival – one of the biggest one-day carnivals in the world. The UK Centre for Carnival Arts is the only dedicated centre of its kind, promoting excellence within the field of carnival arts in all its professional forms from music, dance and theatre to circus arts, costume-making, multi-media and arts and crafts throughout the UK.
The £7.3million centre itself was designed by Ash Sakula architects and won a prestigious 2011 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Award. Comprising two buildings, the larger houses performance spaces, a state-of-the-art workshop, teaching spaces and The Mas Cafe. The smaller building hosts administrative offices, incubator units and a childcare facility.
Koolworld Studios, based at The Hat Factory, is a perfect space for musicians and producers requiring the highest level of equipment and technical support. The studio is available to hire and has recorded international artists from a wide variety of genres. Recent success includes the award-winning album A Greater Good from pianist Robert Mitchell. The studio is also linked to the locally-based 33 Records – one of the UK’s leading independent labels with over 250 releases in its catalogue of jazz and world music. Designed and built by Recording Architecture, the studio offers excellent acoustics as well as a comfortable space providing a relaxed and creative work environment with plenty of natural daylight and full climate control.
Basepoint Innovation and Business Base
Set in the Butterfield Innovation Park, the Basepoint Innovation and Business Base is an award-winning serviced office facility providing high-quality office space to creative businesses. Housed within a stunning contemporary building to encourage innovation, the centre offers a great range of facilities including free parking, incubator units, high-speed internet access, breakout area, meeting rooms and cafe. The centre offers varying size and types of premises dependent on business needs, including offices and business units, studio workshops and incubators for start-up companies.
Funded by Luton Borough Council, the building offers flexible terms on leases, allowing tenants to give two weeks’ notice to move in or out. Basepoint also understands the importance of a fast communications network to creative businesses and boasts high-quality digital phone systems, up to 100mb broadband and Cat 6 cabling. The building also offers charging points for electric vehicles.
Akin to loft apartment living, this converted Mill office floor is a semi open plan creative space for freelancers and small businesses. Divided into 7 working spaces for full time tenants, the space also houses break-out spaces for meetings, and for occasional freelance workers to roost as part of the MYdesk membership. A full kitchen, gourmet coffee machine and a hideaway TV den caters for food lovers, coffee drinkers and the downtime respectively. Located slap bang in the middle of Luton, part of the emerging cultural district in an old Mill that was once part of the 19th century Great Northern Steam Company. Only a stone’s throw from the mainline railway station, 3 miles from London Luton Airport and a mile from M1 Junction 10.