Intu to redevelop Watford shopping centre

Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Shopping centre operator Intu has been granted planning permission for its 100 million pound redevelopment of Charter Place in Watford and to substantially refurbish Intu Watford, the existing centre. Intu’s plans will integrate the two adjoining shopping centres to create a 1.4 million square foot retail and leisure destination, which will offer new retail space for brands, a cinema and leisure complex, as well as a new restaurant hub.

It is hoped that the new larger modern units will attract “strong brands” to the Watford area, as well as enhance the shopping experience. In addition to the redeveloped shopping areas, the proposal also includes a new public square, which will be used to host events such as street theatre and music shows.

It is expected that the proposed development will create around 1,125 additional new jobs across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and up to 630 temporary construction jobs will be supported during the construction phase.

Intu granted permission for 100 million pound redevelopment in Watford

Charlie Griffiths, senior asset manager for the scheme, said: “The 100 million pounds investment across both shopping centres in Watford will completely transform the town’s position in the UK retail rankings, placing it firmly in the top 20.

“The redevelopment will create the very best destination in North London to shop high quality brands and spend leisure time. Our plan is to bring more customers, from further, for longer.”

Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill added: “We have an excellent partner in Intu, who have shared our aspirations for a town centre cinema, new restaurants and family friendly leisure facilities. The jobs news is excellent too. Watford residents deserve the best, and they’re going to get it.”

In 2013, Intu held an online and physical public consultation on the proposed changes for Charter Place, and 91 percent of respondents felt that the shopping centre needed to change and supported its proposals for more shops and leisure facilities.

Construction is expected to start during 2015, following a land assembly process, with the new destination scheduled to open in 2017.

Images: Artist impression of Intu Charter Place