£2million boost for Luton's art scene

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Luton's arts scene is celebrating after a giant cash injection.

The Arts Council is putting more than £2million into the area for the next four years.

Wardown House, Museum and Gallery gets £996,000, Luton International Carnival gets £600,000 and there’s a further £499,500 for the Hat Factory.

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Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England said: “Our investment will support inventive, pioneering arts organisations, a range of museums and arts activity in libraries. It will reach into more places than ever before, providing more people of all ages and backgrounds with the opportunity to participate in the arts – inspiring them as artists, as audiences, or as a mix of both.

“We are delighted to make a significantly increased investment in Bedfordshire with some exciting new organisations joining the portfolio. All of our National Portfolio organisations will play an essential role in reaching more people, developing local, national and international talent, and making where they’re based great places to live, work and visit.

“Luton International Carnival, which brings the local community together for a celebration of cultural diversity by local and international artists to Wardown House Museum and Gallery’s brilliant hat collection and museum makers initiative, our investment will ensure more people have the opportunity to experience great art and culture.

“With the support of £499,500 from the Arts Council, Luton Culture will transform the Hat Factory with a new layout that will not only improve the venue’s functionality, but also improve the visitor experience.”

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There are currently over 1200 registered Museum Makers at Wardown, aged from 11 to 91 years old, who, collectively have donated over 4910 hours to projects, campaigns and events, shaping the redevelopment of the museum.

Marie Kirbyshaw, Chief Executive for Luton Culture said: “The trust will be investing in digital resources to enable researchers, students, local people, other museums and a broader national and international audience access to important collections.”