Luton unveils £1.5bn investment programme

The plans centre around eight major strategic development sites, with the centrepiece a new £200m light rail link between Luton Airport Parkway rail station and the airport.

The link will be funded from London Luton Airport Limited’s (LLAL) capital programme.

LAL has appointed Arup to design and procure the scheme, with a planning application set to be made in autumn. Procurement will begin next spring with construction due to start by autumn 2017. The system will be operational by 2020.

The fully automated 24-hour system will reduce journey times between London St. Pancras and the airport terminal to less than 30 minutes.

A preferred 2.2 km route for the link has been identified between two purpose-built stations.

Meanwhile, a £110m redevelopment of the airport is already underway, with McLaughlin & Harvey expanding the terminal building and Buckingham Group Contracting delivering a new 1,700-space multi-storey car park, among other works.

Other schemes unveiled today by Luton Borough Council include multi-million pound mixed-use developments at Napier Gateway, Henry Boot Developments’ Butterfield Business Park, High Town, Sloane International luxury apartments and British Land’s Power Court.

Luton Town Football Club owner 2020 Developments has also set out plans to develop a new stadium, while Capital & Regional – the owner of the 1 million sq ft The Mall shopping centre – announced significant redevelopment plans.

Councillor Andy Malcolm, chair of London Luton Airport Limited (LLAL), said: “With a catchment area of 23m people within a two-hour travel time, London Luton Airport is ready and willing to make a significant contribution to meeting the growing demand for air travel in London and the South-East.

“Combined with the prospect of four fast trains an hour which we are lobbying for, this investment in mass passenger transit will transform the experience of those travelling to the airport by rail, and will encourage more people to do so and therefore help to reduce congestion on the roads.”

Luton Borough Council chief executive Tony Holden said: “The investment framework presents a clear and coherent plan to the local community, partners and potential investors, and focuses attention on ensuring everything that we do is aimed at improving health, wellbeing and prosperity of our residents.

“The council has grasped its ‘place shaping’ agenda and is delivering a comprehensive investment strategy of local, regional and national significance.”

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