Harlequin Shopping Centre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Charter Place)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Harlequin Shopping Centre
Harlequin Centre, Watford.jpg
LocationWatford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Coordinates51°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 date1990-92
DeveloperIntu Properties
ManagementMichael Stevens
Owner(93%) Intu Properties, (7%) Watford Borough Council
ArchitectChapman Taylor Partners[1]
No. of stores and servicesOver 145
Total retail floor area107,000 m2 (1,150,000 sq ft)
No. of floors7 (inc. Parking)
Parking2050 + 3000 (Watford Council) in 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 centre was rebranded as intu Watford in 2013 following the renaming of its parent Capital Shopping Centres Group as Intu Properties.[4]

The building is glass roofed with symmetrical malls. The anchor stores of the centre are a branch of John Lewis (known as Trewins until rebranding in 2001),[5] Debenhams, Apple Store, Marks & Spencer, Zara and Next.


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[6]) in 1990.[7] The name was a winning entry to a local competition;[8] according to the Watford Observer, the name was probably a reference to the nearby railway line, at the time branded the "Harlequin line" as it passed through Harlesden and Queen's Park.[9][10]

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.[11]

Intu Properties purchased the adjoining Charter Place shopping centre from Watford Borough Council in April 2013.[12][13] Planning permission was granted in 2014 for Charter Place to be demolished, to make way for a new mixed-use scheme which comprises 16 retail units, a new department store, 11 restaurants and a 9 screen Cineworld cinema, one of which is a high definition IMAX, which will be integrated into the main Intu Watford centre.[14] Demolition work began in November 2015.[15] On September 27, 2018 Debenhams opened a new 86,000 sq ft store in the extension, featuring its first redesigned beauty hall.[16] The 400,000 sq ft extension has increased the total size of the shopping centre to 1.15 million sq ft, making it number 18 in the list of the UK biggest retail destinations.[17]


  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. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ Eade, Christine. "Intu plans to complete £100m revamp of its Watford centre by the end of 2017". Property Week. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  6. ^ Companies House WebCheck service, retrieved 6 Jun 2016
  7. ^ Intellectual Property Office ref O-346-04 - objection by HEL to the registration of a similar trade mark by Capital Shopping Centres plc
  8. ^ John Cooper (15 September 2011). Watford Through Time. Amberley Publishing Limited. p. 128. ISBN 978-1-4456-3203-2.
  9. ^ Crozier, David. "BR launches Operation Sparkle". Watford Observer. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  10. ^ Johnson, Marc. "25 years after Clapham". Rail Engineer. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  11. ^ Hayes-Griffin, J.; Collis, H. (1998). "Decriminalised parking in Watford". Highways and transportation. 45 (5): 17–20. ISSN 0265-6868.
  12. ^ "Intu exchanges on Charter Place shopping centre". Watford Borough Council. 24 April 2013. Archived from the original on 27 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  13. ^ "Intu exchanges on Charter Place shopping centre". Watford Borough Council. 24 April 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
  14. ^ Wright, Mike (9 January 2014). "Politicians approve plans for £100m redevelopment of Charter Place". Watford Observer. Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  15. ^ Morby, Aaron (10 November 2015). "Laing O'Rourke replaces BAM on £110m Watford mall". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  16. ^ Ben, Stevens. "Debenhams launches Watford store with new beauty hall". Retail Gazette. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Richard, Williams. "Intu extension puts Watford in the UK top 20 retail destinations". Property Week. Retrieved 25 October 2018.

External links[edit]