After two public consultations, the Luton town centre masterplan, now named ‘Creating a vision – delivering a change’ has been approved.
The new plan will build on recent investment at the university and cultural quarter, with improved parks for people to socialise with friends and family.
Opening up the River Lea marks the next phase, and large events will return after a year of cancellations brought on by the pandemic.
The council has also bid for more investment in public artwork, open space and cleaner and greener streets as part of the government’s Welcome Back Fund.
A bid has also been submitted to the government’s Levelling Up Fund for regeneration on the site of the Bute Street car park.
The council is also in "detailed discussions" with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to make Luton train station fully accessible to disabled users, with lift services to platforms.
Heritage is another focus of the masterplan, and old buildings and spaces will be adapted and brought back into use.
Cllr Sian Timoney said, “We acknowledge that parts of the town centre are bleak and dreary, but we have a once in a generation opportunity to transform it.
"From our engagement with residents, it's really clear that people want a more up to date space, somewhere more attractive, clean and safe – a place to visit and spend time.
"We also need it to be a place that attracts investment and creates more jobs for Luton people.
“Through the process of developing this plan, we have engaged with businesses and residents, and that won’t stop here.
"We will continue to bring people along on this journey with us and will again engage for views, ideas and feedback so we can make sure we work towards a town centre that we are all proud of and one we all deserve."