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Watford on the hunt for development partner

Words: Laura Edgar
Watford Town Hall Quarter sketch / Watford Borough Council and Montagu Evans

Watford Borough Council is seeking a development partner for the regeneration of the 3.5-hectare Town Hall Quarter site.

Owned by the council, the site is located at the north end of Watford High Street. It features a number of civic uses, including Watford Central Library and two NHS clinics.

The council is looking for a collaborator to deliver a phased development of the site through a 50:50 joint venture.

Tom Dobrashian, group head of place-shaping at Watford Borough Council, said: “The Town Hall Quarter is an opportunity to revitalise this part of Watford town centre, significantly improving the public realm and delivering new complementary uses, including new housing, active ground floors, more intensive use of heritage buildings and improved health, civic and cultural facilities for Watford residents.

“We are already committed to progressing £20 million of investment in the Watford Colosseum entertainment venue and the Town Hall building, with works anticipated to commence in 2022, and this wider improvement will complement the council’s existing capital investment.”

Property consultancy Montagu Evans is advising the council. Simon Hope, partner, added: “Alongside current plans to improve its civic and cultural offer, there is further scope to revitalise the site and bring forward complementary residential and mixed-use development that will contribute to the council’s ambitions for its town and create an attractive new neighbourhood that addresses housing need and enhances existing heritage assets.”

It has been estimated that the project could deliver a completed development value in the region of £200 million.

Selecting a partner will be done via a two-stage public procurement process under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 using Find A Tender. It is anticipated that a preferred partner will be announced in February 2022.

Image credit | Watford Borough Council and Montagu Evans