Harlequin Shopping Centre

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Harlequin Shopping Centre
Harlequin Centre, Watford.jpg
Location Watford, UK
Coordinates 51°39′19″N 0°23′39″W / 51.65528°N 0.39417°W / 51.65528; -0.39417Coordinates: 51°39′19″N 0°23′39″W / 51.65528°N 0.39417°W / 51.65528; -0.39417
Opening date 1990-92
Developer Intu Properties
Management Michael Stevens
Owner (93%) Intu Properties, (7%) Watford Borough Council
Architect Chapman Taylor Partners[1]
No. of stores and services Over 145
Total retail floor area 67,500 m2 (727,000 sq ft)
No. of floors 7 (inc. Parking)
Parking 2050 + 3000 (Watford Council) in Watford
Website www.intu.co.uk/watford

The Harlequin Shopping Centre, currently known as Intu Watford, is a shopping centre in the middle of Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom. It opened between 1990 and 1992.[2][3]

The building is glass roofed with symmetrical malls. The anchor store of the centre is a branch of John Lewis. Following a local tradition, this was known as Trewins until rebranding in 2001.[4]

The centre was rebranded as intu Watford in 2013 following the renaming of its parent Capital Shopping Centres Group as Intu Properties.[5]

An adjoining shopping centre, Charter Place, was bought by Intu Properties in April 2013.[6] Planning permission was granted in 2014 for Charter Place to be integrated with Intu Watford and expanded, to include a 9-screen IMAX cinema.


The open plan mall of the Harlequin, in the year 2007.
The open plan mall of the Harlequin, in the year 2016.

In 1962 there were discussions about development of the site with the plans including a ten-pin bowling alley and 130 flats.[citation needed]

The Sainsbury's store on Queen's Road was bought and demolished (1983) to create space for the centre and a warehouse. During the development of the centre, listed high street buildings were renovated and Queen's Road was maintained as a pedestrian cross route through the town.[citation needed]

The shopping centre was named and opened by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd (founded 1987, dissolved 2000[7]) in 1990.[8]

Watford Council extended a resident parking permit scheme in 1996 to deal with the parking congestion that had arisen since the opening of the Centre.[9]

Intu Properties purchased the adjoining Charter Place shopping centre from Watford Borough Council in April 2013.[10] The company announced plans to integrate Charter Place into the main Intu Watford centre, and include a multi-screen cinema, restaurants and larger shops in the development.[11] Planning permission was granted in January 2014 for the partial rebuild and renovation of Charter Place.[12] Demolition work began in November 2015.[13]


  1. ^ Phillips, Derek (2013). "Case study 45: Harlequin Shopping Centre, Watford". Lighting Modern Buildings. Routledge. p. 192. ISBN 9781136387302. 
  2. ^ Miles, David. "Trewins sets up shop in Harlequin Centre". Watford Observer. Watford Observer. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  3. ^ "Harlequin Centre, Watford". Shopping Centre. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Eade, Christine. "Intu plans to complete £100m revamp of its Watford centre by the end of 2017". Property Week. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  5. ^ "The connected consumer – the future of shopping centres" (PDF) (Press release). Capital Shopping Centres Group. 17 January 2013. p. 11. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Intu exchanges on Charter Place shopping centre". Watford Borough Council. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Companies House WebCheck service, retrieved 6 Jun 2016
  8. ^ Intellectual Property Office ref O-346-04 - objection by HEL to the registration of a similar trade mark by Capital Shopping Centres plc
  9. ^ Hayes-Griffin, J.; Collis, H. (1998). "Decriminalised parking in Watford". Highways and transportation. 45 (5): 17–20. ISSN 0265-6868. 
  10. ^ "Intu exchanges on Charter Place shopping centre". Watford Borough Council. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  11. ^ Wright, Mike (1 November 2013). "New IMAX cinema planned for Watford as part of Charter Place revamp". Watford Observer. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Wright, Mike (9 January 2014). "Politicians approve plans for £100m redevelopment of Charter Place". Watford Observer. Retrieved 22 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Morby, Aaron (10 November 2015). "Laing O'Rourke replaces BAM on £110m Watford mall". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 

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