The Galleria, Hatfield
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|Location||Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England|
|No. of stores and services||> 80|
|No. of floors||2|
The centre developed in the 1980s as part of a plan to reduce congestion in Hatfield while increasing retail space. The A1(M), a bypass of the old Great North Road from London, was built as a cut and cover tunnel, with The Galleria on top.
It was a project of Gerald Carroll's Carroll Group and was budgeted at £50 million but cost £90 million by the time it was finished 18 months late. Carroll refinanced the project and injected £30 million. It opened in 1991 but bankers Samuel Montagu placed the scheme in receivership in 1992. Afterwards, records were found showing the purchase of bugging equipment and the employment of private detectives to watch the bankers involved.
The centre was converted to an outlet-led centre in 1996. Land Securities acquired the centre from Galleria Jersey Ltd in 2005 and took full control of the asset management of the centre in September 2006.
The centre occupies 28,800 sq of space. There are more than 80 designer outlets trading at The Galleria including brands such as French Connection, Jaeger, Ghost, Marks & Spencer, GANT and TK Maxx. In addition, other leading brands include, The Body Shop and Waterstones.
Many stores offer tax free shopping which allow people from outside the EU to purchase goods at lower prices.
The centre can be reached from Junctions 3 or 4 of the A1(M), which provides connections to the M25, or by the A414 from Hertford or St Albans. By public transport, the centre can be accessed from Hatfield railway station or St Albans City railway station. Both stations have bus links to the centre.
Buses also run from many places, such as Hemel Hempstead and Watford to the west, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City to the north, Hertford to the east and Barnet and Potters Bar in the south. These are provided by the two main operators in the area Uno and Arriva Shires & Essex. National Express coaches also run to The Galleria.
- List of shopping centres in the United Kingdom
- Gunwharf Quays - another outlet centre owned by Land Securities in Portsmouth, Hampshire
- The Motorway Achievement, Volume 1. Thomas Telford. 2003. p. 666. ISBN 978-0-727-73196-8.
- "Party ends as property meteor crashes to earth", John Waples, The Sunday Times, 26 February 1995, pp. 2 & 7.
- "Developer goes bust with debts of £40m", Tony Hetherington, Mail on Sunday, 19 February 1995, p. 3.