1. ITV Report

Luton's bid to become new City of Culture to be discussed by councillors

Luton's proposed bid to become the UK's 'City of Culture' will be presented to councillors tonight.

The Bedfordshire town is considering putting itself forward for the 2025 title which is currently held by Hull.

It's hoped that a successful bid would help boost tourism and attract new businesses.

Fireworks lit up the sky above the Humber Bridge near Hull to celebrate the start of their reign as City of Culture. Credit: PA

"This bid has already got momentum behind it because we've already got Arts Council England investing," Cllr Trevor Holden from Luton Borough Council said.

"We've already attracted investment from English Heritage and we've got such a rich diversity in Luton, it's absolutely sensible for us to do this."

Hull has benefited from a £1 billion boost in investment since winning the title in 2013, and its city centre is regenerating at a rapid rate.

The Northern Irish city of Derry/Londonderry was announced as the UK's first 'City of Culture' in 2010 - beating Norwich, Sheffield and Birmingham to the accolade.

One stumbling block for Luton is that it's not currently a city, but there are plans in place in for the town to apply for city status in the future.

Vauxhall's headquarters are in Luton. Credit: ITV News Anglia

What is Luton famous for?

  • Luton has a long association with the hat industry, and hats have been made there since the 17th century.
  • The town's carnival is the largest one-day carnival in the country (only the two-day Notting Hill Carnival in London attracts more).
  • The town is the birthplace of people like former England cricketer Monty Panesar and James Bond film composer David Arnold.
  • Big companies like easyJet and Vauxhall have their headquarters in the town.

The next stage will see councillors scrutinise the proposals this evening, with a final decision on whether to proceed due next week.