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Luton is a town in Bedfordshire, south-east England, located approximately 30 miles north of London. Traditionally a small market town and a centre for the manufacture of straw hats (the local football team, Luton Town FC, is nicknamed 'The Hatters'), Luton expanded rapidly between the two world wars, becoming a centre for light engineering and, more significantly, the manufacture of motor vehicles. The town is also the home of the University of Bedfordshire (formerly the University of Luton), and of London Luton Airport, used by package holiday operators and an increasing number of budget airlines.

Luton has a population of 184,000. In 1996 the town became a unitary authority area: although geographically part of the county of Bedfordshire, for administrative purposes it is independent.