Supporting essential workers

VISITOR INFORMATION AND GUIDANCE

Updated 18th February 2021

Businesses in operation 

England is now in a national lockdown which means that only shops deemed as essential will be open in Luton town centre. All non-essential shop will be closed, but may offer click and collect or delivery service for items ordered online/by phone. Restaurants, pubs and cafes will be closed but may offer alternative takeaway or delivery services, and all personal care, beauty parlours and hairdressers will be closed.

Luton BID and partners are recommending that people who do have to come into the town centre for essential items only, stagger their visits and try to avoid the busy times (shopping before 11am and after 3pm is advisable).

Click on the following links for a list of town businesses and their status (please note that this is always subject to change in the current climate – these are not definitive lists. Please check with the individual businesses before travelling).

Everyone living, working or studying in Luton can now get a free Covid-19 test. There are a number of centres across Luton. If you have no symptoms one option is Luton Central Library, St George’s Square (LU1 2NG), Monday to Sunday 8am – 8pm. Find out more HERE.

Luton town centre Business Operation Directory (not including businesses in The Mall) – businesses open, closed and operating differently. Click HERE. (updated 12th January 2021).

The Mall Business Operation Directory – click HERE.

COVID-safe measures in Luton town centre

There is a ‘traffic light system’ in place at the The Mall Luton to control access and ensure that the shopping centre does not become overcrowded.
George Street has signage in place with pedestrians directed up one side and back down the other.

Floor graphics and signage are in place to remind people to follow social distancing rules and to advise shoppers where to queue outside individual shops, and where the entry points are to the Mall.

Some street furniture has been removed including the pagodas to allow free movement however there is still plenty of seating available for visitors.

Marshalls are on hand in the town to help manage any queues and encourage social distancing.

There is regular, enhanced cleaning of touch points such as railings as well as hand sanitising stations in the town and in The Mall.

DIGITAL MAP

Navigate yourself around Luton town centre by downloading our digital map – which includes details about the new pedestrian one way system, road layouts, cycle routes and bike stands, pedestrian only areas, transport hubs and information points.

Download your map HERE

Travel

Vehicle closures at certain points on Chapel Street are in place so pedestrians can move safely.

Car parking charges have been reinstated in council owned car parks and at the Mall to help support the reopening of the town, by encouraging a turnover in availability of parking places.

Face coverings for all customers on all Luton bus routes is a legal requirement.

Please keep updated by visiting the Luton Borough Council website HERE.

Business Support & Advice

Luton BID has been working to produce a simple guide to businesses grants related to the COVID-19 restriction and where available provide links to further details and application forms.

Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP)

Who can apply?
  • Businesses that occupy the property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
  • Businesses that have been required to close because of the national restrictions from 5 January 2021 onwards
  • Businesses that have been unable to provide usual in-person customer service from its premises
This could include non-essential retail, leisure, personal care, sports facilities, tourism and hospitality businesses. It could also include businesses that operate primarily as an in-person venue, but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead.
How to apply?
Businesses will not be required to apply, Luton Borough Council will pay based on previous application and will publish further details shortly.
Further information regarding the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment (CBLP) can be found here.

Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum)

Who can apply?
If your business was open as usual, but then required to close due to national restrictions imposed by government between 5 November and 2 December 2020 and also again from 5 January 2021, you may be eligible for the LRSG (Closed) Addendum schemes:
  • If your business has a property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £2,001 for each 42-day qualifying restrictions period.
  • If your business has a property with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £3,000 for each 42-day qualifying restrictions period.
  • If your business has a property with a rateable value of £51,000 or above, you may be eligible for a cash grant of £4,500 for each 42-day qualifying restrictions period.
How to apply?
Apply online at Luton Borough Council’s Website here.
Further information regarding the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum) can be found here

Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4)

Who can apply?
  • Businesses in an area of local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions who have been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September 2020
  • Businesses in an area of local Tier 4 restrictions and have been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 19 December 2020
  • Your business must occupy the property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
  • Your business must have been required to close for at least 14 days because of the restrictions
  • Your business must have been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises. eg, Pubs & Restaurants now operating as takeaways.
How to apply?
Apply online at Luton Borough Council’s Website here
Further information regarding the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Closed) Addendum: Tier 4) can be found here

Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (for open businesses))

Who can apply?
  • Businesses in an area subject to Tier 2 or Tier 3 local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and have been severely impacted because of the local restrictions. Businesses must have been established before the introduction of Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions
  • Businesses that have not had to close but have been impacted by local restrictions. eg, hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.
How to apply?
Apply online at Luton Borough Council’s Website here
Further information regarding the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (for open businesses)) can be found here

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG (Sector))

Who can apply?
  • nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques
  • adult entertainment venues and hostess bars
Eligible businesses can get one grant per non-domestic property.
How to apply?
Luton Borough Council will publish details shortly
Further information regarding the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Sector)) can be found here

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support closed businesses that do not directly pay business rates as well as businesses that do not have to close but which are impacted.
This could include:
  • businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • businesses in the tourism and events sectors
  • business required to close but which do not pay business rates
How to apply?
Luton Borough Council will publish the details shortly
Further information regarding the Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG (Sector)) can be found here.

Wet Led Grants

The application date for the one off grant payment for Wet Led Pubs for missing out on Christmas trade has been extended to 28th February, 2021.
Businesses that haven’t already applied can do so HERE.

We would like to assure all BID businesses and town centre visitors that we are here to offer advice and support.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if there are any specific concerns affecting your business you would like to discuss with the team: email info@lutonbid.org

We continue to be in close contact with Luton Council and will update levy-payers as advised by official sources.

Information Pack, Luton Borough Council – for businesses operating during the pandemic HERE

Read our Luton BID Business Support report HERE – updated with the latest information on 2nd March, 2021.

Local Restrictions Support Grant – via Luton Council HERE

Read our full list of PPE suppliers HERE

Bedfordshire Police have also shared these two Crime Prevention Advice and Information documents:

  • Commercial Premises – Alarms/ CCTV – HERE.
  • Commercial Premises – HERE.

For the latest official guidance, here are some useful links:

  • UK government response click HERE
  • Public Health England (latest general advice) click HERE
  • Public Health England (updated daily with number of cases and risk level in the UK) HERE
  • Public Health England blog (this is regularly updated) click HERE
  • NHS click HERE
  • World Health Organization (WHO) click HERE

More specific guidance in relation to employees, employers and businesses

  • Public Health England HERE
  • World Health Organization (WHO) HERE
  • Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) HERE
  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme HERE
  • Coronavirus campaign government resources (posters and materials) HERE

More useful advice and guidance around employment law is available from the CIPD HERE

Business advice

Loans and grants are available for small businesses in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis and the government has set up the Business Support Helpline (England)

Click HERE or call 0300 456 3565, Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm.

For further details about business support read our full Luton BID update news story HERE.

Further Information

Luton Borough Council
For further information on the changes to the town centre and safety measures in place please click HERE.

The Mall Luton
Face Coverings must be worn at all times in every part of The Mall unless you are exempt. Further information on other measures is HERE.

For a short film on the measures in place in The Mall please click HERE.

You can find Frequently Asked Questions on the Mall safety measures answered HERE.

For information on businesses open in The Mall please click HERE.