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Luton's new stadium plans


Luton's ground at Kenilworth Road recalls a forgotten football past.  To access the away end you go down a passage between terraced houses and climb a set of stairs with back gardens on either side. The 'executive boxes' are down one side of the ground, set back just a few yards from the touchline and only a few yards higher than the pitch.

Plans were submitted to the local council at the end of August for a new 17,500 seater stadium (which could rise to 22,500) on the derelict site of a former electricity substation at the heart of Luton's town centre.  This is an unusual case of a club planning to build a new stadium nearer the town centre.

There are plans to develop business, retail, hotel and leisure facilities there and at a separate site by junction ten of the M1.   The second site is needed to fund the first.   It is hoped that the project will give a boost to the local economy in a town that has some of the highest rates of poverty in the country.

Nine years ago Luton were playing Championship football, but years of mismanagement and three administrations led to a combined 40-point deduction and a slide to the Conference Premier where they languished until 2014.  A consortium of local businessmen led by TV presenter Nick Owen took over the club midway through that slide in 2008 when they were losing £500,000 a month.