‘The Hatters’ Power Court plans ‘on track’



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Luton Town stadium update October 2021 Image: Leslie Jones Architecture

The Championship team Luton Town F.C. (UK) Chief Executive Gary Sweet has confirmed that plans for a new home at Power Court are “progressing well” despite the club being forced into a “significant rethink” due to COVID-19 which still continues to thump several parts of the globe with China, Russia and the United States still suffering the sting of the fatal virus.

The ‘Luton Today’ stated that ‘The Hatters’ were given permission to build their 17,500 all-seater stadium back in January 2019, along with a mixed use scheme at Newlands Park just two months later, which is essential to finance the construction of the new ground.

The Luton Town Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Luton, Bedfordshire, England (UK), which competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system.

The 10,356-capacity Luton Town FC is an association football stadium in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. It has been the home ground of Luton Town Football Club since 1905. The stadium has also hosted women’s and youth international matches, including the second leg of the 1984 European Competition for Women’s Football final.

The Power Court complex is a new football stadium and mixed-use development planned in Newlands Park, Luton, UK. The new stadium for Luton Town is likely to be built in Power Court, just 1.5 km (1 mile) East from Kenilworth Road.

The ‘Luton Today’ further stated that however, any attempts to begin putting spades in the ground were hit significantly by the global pandemic which forced the suspension of the football season and meant last campaign was played without supporters present, thus seriously affecting the club’s finances.

Sweet confirmed in March 2020 that the plans were on hold, while a lack of matchday income, plus a change in consumer behavior had led to a redesign of the stadium and changes at Newlands Park too.

2020 Developments, the property arm of ‘The Hatters’, then stated in December last year that they had set a target of playing their first game at Power Court in 2024, while ‘The Hatters’ also revealed in March of this year that they would be looking to submit final plans soon with the aim of beginning initial work on site in 2021 itself.

Sweet stated, “As mentioned before, the single, most common question I get asked is ‘How’s the new stadium coming along?’, especially of late when we’ve had to cope with a hugely changing environment after global pandemics, potential economic crises and massive shifts in consumer behavior has forced a significant rethink on much of what we’re seeking to develop according to the market demand. To ease your minds, despite all this, I can confirm that development plans for our new stadium at Power Court are progressing well and, despite a small hitch in time and some nominal compromises, is all on track.”

Added Sweet, “Being able to fund the construction of the stadium is paramount in our mind, of course – we simply cannot build if we haven’t got the money and, with costs on the rise, it isn’t loose change that’s going to make it happen. The principle of funding deriving from our facility developments at Power Court and Newlands Park categorically remains and I can inform you that we are making good progress on this front to the extent that we are in the process of concluding our first (of many I hasten to add) freehold sale of one small plot of land to partner developers and future neighbors.”

The head honcho continued, “With our positive progress on other partnership prospects and having painstakingly scrutinized over a redesign of the stadium and surrounding public realm (a necessity brought about by the global pandemic and behavioral change), we are now just about to embark upon a detailed planning stage for those elements. Whilst not the lengthy process our outline stage took, it largely is what it says on the tin – a very detailed design – and needs to be done fully and properly to ensure that we get the design right, don’t overspend and save time and efficiency in construction.”

Sweet continued, “I’ll provide more updates as we progress this process but suffice to say that it really is an exciting phase of advancement as we study the various possible access routes, assignments of entrances, concourses, hospitality areas, players’ tunnel and back of house amenities as well as strategies for riverbanks and cycle-paths and placements of new sub-stations and smart car parks. So, as we draw closer to the reality of our much long-awaited relocation, please savor every minute you can at our current home.”

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