FREQUENTLY ASKED: QUESTIONS
Answering some of the most common questions about Power Court & Newlands Park
Q: Why does the Football Club need a new stadium?
The football club has been looking to relocate for 60 years. Kenilworth Road will always be integral to the club’s DNA but the club needs to move in order to survive, progress and succeed – both on and off the pitch. Our future ambitions are greater than Kenilworth Road can provide and this relocation will form a catalyst for largescale positive change, not just for the club but for the town’s regeneration.
Q: Why does the new stadium need to be relocated to the town centre?
A: We believe a football club should be in the heart of the community it seeks to serve and represent so that community is also at the heart of the club. Our community projects and engagements are proven to make a positive difference to many people’s lives. However, we know we can do much, much more with better, modern facilities in the heart of a regenerated townscape. We also want the stadium to become an iconic, architectural focal point for Luton and be sustainable in every sense – so that we can be part of the town’s fabric 365 days a year and facilitate further rejuvenation of the town centre.
Q: What is the Club’s relationship with 2020 Property Developments?
A: 2020 Property Developments is a wholly owned subsidiary of the 2020 Holding Company in the same way as the football club. Both have the same shareholders and have separate principally to protect the club from any possible risks associated with property development. Going forward the development company could have additional shareholders but the Luton Town Supporters Trust would be party to any such change. The current board of 2020 Holdings – of which, the Supporters Trust is a member – will remain in control of the football club and the development company
Q: Does the Club own the site and would the Football Club own the stadium or would it pay rent?
A: 2020 doesn’t own the site at present but we have an agreement with the landowners that would enable us to own the land should we receive planning consent. We will own the stadium once built which will be held either under the most appropriate division of the Holding company – of which Luton Town Supporters Trust is a shareholder – for the exclusive benefit of the football club and for the football club to operate. No rent will be paid.
Q: Why is this site preferred for a stadium rather than retail?
A: The site is unique in offering a 20-acre blank canvass in the centre of Luton. However, the site has a number of major obstacles (a culverted river, a sub-station and land contamination) which has prohibited it from being developed so far for any purpose; retail, or other use. Our research also shows that an extension to the town’s existing retail offering would not diversify its range. Furthermore, we feel that football clubs that are connected at the heart of their towns and cities thrive, as do the towns and cities. The club intends for the stadium to be a multi-purpose, active, vibrant facility surrounded by communal amenities in a new, well-kept landscaped area of public realm.
Q: What will the overall capacity be?
A: We intend to open with a capacity of 17,500 at the stadium although the application will be for 22,500-23,000 enabling the football club to expand as and when we climb up the leagues and meet demand. However, any increase in capacity will not happen unless we can manage a specific transport strategy agreed and set in place with Luton Council to ensure the town centre thrives vibrantly on a match-day rather than being overcrowded.
Q: Will the stadium reach capacity on match days?
We hope so! We feel that too many empty seats are wasteful and dilute match atmosphere. We believe, after much research, have arrived at a capacity figure that is an optimum balance between working harmoniously in the town centre and meeting anticipated demand for the club’s ambitions for the foreseeable future.
Q: Are the proposals viable?
A: Yes, with professional and careful business planning. We have spent some considerable time working with leading industry advisers to ensure our plans are both deliverable and viable.
Q: Would the planning applications be linked or separate?
A: The planning applications will be separate in the sense that they will be two individual applications. However, they will likely be tied together in the detailed legal conditions that would accompany them. Additionally, there are numerous challenges with the Power Court site which need to be resolved to allow it to be developed for anything at all and our Newlands Park scheme would facilitate this through financial contribution. Without Newlands Park, the Power Court development is simply not affordable.
Q: How will the proposals benefit local business?
Taken together the Power Court and Newlands Park proposals will work to dramatically enhance the reputation and standing of the town on both a national and international scale. In addition to the direct benefits of thousands of new, high quality jobs and amenities for the town we believe this improvement in perception for the town as a whole will prove to be a great catalyst for the wider renaissance of Luton over the coming decades.