Hats off to High Town High Hats

Luton Culture's Jacqui Harding modelling one of the hats
Luton Culture's Jacqui Harding modelling one of the hats

It started off as an exercise in filling empty shop space and became a surprise success.

Now award-winning community project High Hats in High Town has embarked on the next phase in its trajectory to the top – it will become a social enterprise on Saturday (July 5) when it’s taken over by High Town Arts For All.

It will be launched during the High Town Festival with a loom band making workshop for children from 1pm to 3pm.

The shop was opened last year by the charity Luton Culture and proved a huge hit in the regeneration of the area.

Businessman Michael Missen was so inspired by the stunning creations on display he decided to follow suit at Marjorie’s Cafe.

He said: “High Hats is a cultural delight in High Town where Luton’s rich millinery past is celebrated and will be built on in a social enterprise that will benefit and meet the aspirations of local residents today.” Community engagement officer Caroline Wallace was instrumental in getting it off the ground and the venture has been well supported by local milliners as well as more than 34 volunteers.

High Hats was a runner-up in Luton’s Best Awards 2013.