The careful heritage restoration and refurbishment of the oldest former Hat Factory in Luton is now complete.
After four years, and with the investment of £2.4m, the keys were handed over to The Luton Culture Trust’s Chair, Nick Gibson, by Simon Last of Neville Special Projects on Friday 16th April.
Hat Works is part of the Hat District heritage regeneration project led by The Culture Trust to reanimate and reuse historic hat factories and transform them into inspiring and much needed creative workspace. Hat Works follows the completion of Hat House and the refurbishment of the Hat Factory Arts Centre led by the Trust in 2019.
Hat Works is situated in the heart of the Hat District creative cluster in central Luton between the railway station and Mall shopping centre. The Hat District is a growing dynamic creative community housed within (and at times bursting out of) the Hat Factory Arts Centre, Storefront Gallery, Hat Works and creative workspace at Hat House.
Hat Works will be the entry point for creative entrepreneurs eager to turn their idea into a creative business within a supportive and inspirational environment with like-minded others. Hat Works will provide a range of workspaces that will support the development of a creative community. Here members can develop ideas, collaborate and benefit from affordable and professional workspace. Whilst everyone is welcome, there will be a particular focus on young people and a cohort of pioneer members who are already in place to move in when the interior fit out is complete early this summer.
The ambition is to re-animate the conservation area with cultural activity, care for these important heritage buildings and promote the historic stories of this once vibrant hat trading town. Hat Works is being designed for creative and digital entrepreneurs, innovators and micro-businesses and will provide affordable work and social spaces in an inspiring heritage environment.
Marie Kirbyshaw, Chief Executive of The Culture Trust, said:
“This well-loved old hat factory has been through a long but careful restoration and looks incredible thanks to the generosity of our funders and the skills of a highly specialist team. We have curated an eclectic mix of decorative and functional design features, restored heritage and added modern functionality so that Hat Works will inspire, and meet the needs of, a new generation of creative and digital start-up businesses.”
Find more information on The Culture Trust Luton HERE