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             4th August 2021

Welcome Back Fund secured for Luton town centre
 
News this week that Luton Council has been awarded £264,000 as part of the Welcome Back Fund  is welcome news for businesses in the town centre. 

The fund which has been provided to the council via the European Regional Development Fund has been put in place to address the long term impact of Covid-19 on local economies, funding activities that will help keep high streets alive and vibrant, and a safer more attractive option to enjoy leisure time in the town.

In Luton the money will be spent on making the town centre more appealing and clean and will help create additional interest for those visiting with small events, public works of art, added greenery as well as picnic style benches around the Market Hill amphitheatre to encourage public dwelling and leisure time. 

Luton BID alongside partners such as The Mall will be working alongside the council to implement projects and activities with short term results to encourage people to enjoy and stay in the town centre. 

We’ll be sure to update you further as projects come to fruition from the fund. For further information on the national picture, see here
 
Town centre is 'bouncing back' according to Google
Did you see this piece from Luton news? It suggests Luton town centre is 'bouncing back' at a faster rate than the rest of the country, according to the latest analytic data from Google.

Location data from phones and other personal devices which shows trends in movement was compared from previous years pre-Covid following the reopening of indoor hospitality in May.

Although Luton data was naturally below the comparable rates of previous years, it encouragingly fell higher than that national average for the same periods.

You may remember in April this year, Luton was ranked in the top ten UK retail recoveries, and with  all sectors able to open under the current guidelines we look forward to a positive future. 

Read the story in full here.
Furlough - Employers contribution has increased
From 1 August 2021, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Claim for 60% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough or flexible furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read more on the government website.
 
Save the date for Diwali
With events now back on the cards after the easing of restrictions, we are pleased to share the news that Diwali in Luton will return to St George’s Square this October.

On Saturday 30th October 2021 the town centre will once again be the focus of a day of celebration and fun. After restrictions causing the event to cancel last year, it will be a welcome opportunity for the community to get together safely.

This could be a great opportunity for businesses in the town to make the most of the additional footfall on the weekend, which also coincides with Halloween celebrations which are increasingly popular especially in the retail and hospitality/ leisure sectors.

If you missed the last event in 2019 – get a feel for what’s in store on the Diwali in Luton website.
Celebrate your community champions in Luton's 'Our River' project
Last week we brought you news of the ‘Our River’ project – an opportunity to share your story, memory or the special people that we loved, lost, celebrate and cherish from the challenging times of the pandemic.

The large installation artwork piece will form a photo montage of over 1000 photos submitted by the community, giving an opportunity to remember those lost and celebrate the hopeful moments and positivity that brought our community together.

For businesses specifically, this is a great opportunity to celebrate the moments, people and more that stepped up to shine. The memorial piece is as much about the positive contributions of people in our town, and we’d love to see Luton BID businesses step up to take part.

It could be a a team member that went above and beyond, a collaboration with another organisation – you can share the story and photo of anyone who’s played a positive contribution to your business during the pandemic.

Share your story on the Our River website – if we can help to talk you through the project or help shape your submissions let us know. It’s a great opportunity to play a part in what will be a lasting legacy and a real focal point in the town centre in the years to come.

Check out the submissions already in the gallery –there’s nearly 100 poignant and inspiring stories already uploaded – take the opportunity to share yours!
Kid's Club in The Mall launches trunk-tastic colouring competition
The Big Trunk Trail is now in full swing, and with the onset of the summer holidays The Mall have launched a colouring competition for younger visitors to get involved.

Families can stop by the ‘Ask Me’ points in The Mall to pick up a free elephant colouring page, and get creative with their own elephant designs with a free elephant coin bank to paint and decorate for Kids Club members.

All the donations go to Keech Hospice Care, further supporting the trail which is attracting families to the town to explore the trail the summer.

Anyone interested in joining the Kids Club can do so here

The Big Trunk Trail

Luton BID is a proud sponsor of The Big Trunk Trail - the most high-profile art event to hit the town this summer. As we are Trail Progress Partner, town centre businesses will be able to promote special offers to visitors via the App.
Business Support Guide
 
Our comprehensive COVID-19 Business support guide contains all the latest guidance as announced by the Government. Download it on the link below:
Download the latest Business Support Guide
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Studio 3 West Wing Studios Unit 166 · The Mall · Luton, Cma LU1 2TL · United Kingdom

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