LU4 (Luton) area guide

The LU4 postcode district lies within or includes part of the following towns, counties, localities, electoral wards and stations: Bedfordshire, Biscot, Challney, Chalton, Dallow, Leagrave, Lewsey, Luton, Saints, Toddington.
Luton dates back to the Palaeolithic Period, where early encampments have been found near Round Green and Mixes Hill. In addition, several excavations have discovered remains from the Neolithic period, including the most prominent remain, Wauluds Bank, which is a henge (prehistoric architectural structure). The first evidence of the city of Luton dates back to the 6th century. The Saxon village began the construction of St. Mary’s Church in the town centre around 1120. The agricultural based town switched to the brick making industry in the 16th century, only to become synonymous with the hat industry that dominated their economy in the 18th century.

During the 20th century, Luton expanded and grew rapidly. New industries replaced the hat trade, such as the car industry, when Vauxhall Motors opened the largest car plant in the UK in Luton. It was because of this plant’s manufacturing of tanks in support of the war effort that Luton became a target during WWII. Although Vauxhall’s headquarters still remain in Luton, the plant was closed down in 2000. The airport in Luton opened in 1938 and has since become one of the most popular airports in the country, due to its close relation to downtown London.
St. George’s Square, the town centre, was reconstructed a few years ago and the new design won the Gold Standard Award for Town Centre Environment. There are many plans in place to reconstruct many other sites and facilities around Luton, including the former Vauxhall plant site. The old plant will soon become Napier Park, consisting of housing, retail, and entertainment venues.

Luton International Airport serves nearly 10,000,000 passengers annually and is one of the largest airports in the UK. The easy commute to the centre of London, along with the airport being a hub for many budget airlines, has resulted in Luton becoming one of the most popular airports near the London area. The airport is also adding to Luton’s economy becoming more service orientated and less focused on car manufacturing, engineering, and millinery.

Today, Luton’s population is around 184,000—with about 47,000 living within postcode district LU4. Luton has seen many waves of immigration since 1900, which has resulted in a diverse ethnic mix. The average age is 32 and the ethnic makeup of Luton is 67 per cent white, 20 per cent South Asian, 8 per cent black, and 4 per cent other. Nearly half of the housing stock in LU4 consists of semi-detached homes and the average house price is around £152,000— below the national average. The most expensive street to live on is Sundon Road, where detached four bedroom homes are valued at around £300,000. Similarly priced property can be found near Hatters Way Retail Park, on Fulbourne Close , where detached homes are worth around £270,000. Conversely, one of the least expensive streets to live on is Swanston Grange, where one bedroom flats are worth around £80,000. Located near a large field, Skua Close offers one bedroom flats for around £90,000.
Transportation links in and out of Luton are excellent and with its close proximity to London, which is just 30 miles south, is ideal for commuters. The international airport and the national railway system provide links to other cities in in and out of the country. Bus services and the motorway network are also important transportation services accessible in the city of Luton.

The government’s Building Schools for the Future programme has provided funds to help improve Luton’s schools and colleges. The city has 98 educational institutes and is also one of the main locations for the University of Bedfordshire.

The main shopping centre in Luton is Arndale Mall, situated in the heart of the city. A wide range of restaurants inspired from various cultures are scattered throughout Luton. Numerous pubs and clubs are popular throughout Luton, including The Salisbury Arms on Selbourne Street.