intu has appointed BAM Construction as main contractor for its extension of intu Watford.

intu has appointed BAM Construction as main contractor for its extension of intu Watford. This forms part of intu’s redevelopment work in the town centre.

The company, which owns the 1 million sq ft intu Watford shopping centre, acquired the adjoining Charter Place shopping centre in April 2013 which will be partly rebuilt and fully renovated as the extension to the centre.

intu is investing £100m to integrate the two centres, creating a single, vibrant 1.4 million sq ft retail, dining and leisure destination for the affluent catchment across north London and Hertfordshire. The overall proposal includes the development of the extension and the refurbishment of the existing intu Watford centre, which currently has an annual footfall of 17 million. This scheme forms part of intu’s intended investment pipeline of £1.2 billion over the next 10 years across its portfolio.

BAM is appointed initially to develop the designs for the intu Watford extension, including demolition of the old precinct, the refurbishment of the existing car park block as well as a substantial element of new build including a feature canopy roof over a public square.

Rebecca Ryman, regional director of intu, said: “The redevelopment of intu Watford and the adjoining centre will transform the town into a major retail and leisure destination considerably boosting its position in the UK retail rankings, placing it firmly in the top 20. The work by BAM on the extension will be a key element in creating the right space in the right place to help retailers’ businesses flourish and provide an even wider range of shops, restaurants and leisure offers for our customers.”

When completed, the extension will have larger, modern, retail units to attract top brands and further enhance the existing shopping experience at intu Watford. A new public square will also be created that will host a diverse events programme, such as street theatre and music shows. The two level shopping centre with car park will be completed with a 40,000 sq ft, nine-screen, 1,500 seat Cineworld cinema, which will include an IMAX screen.

Adam Harding, construction director – South East of BAM Construction, said: “The plans for intu Watford are very exciting and BAM’s work on the extension section will create a townscape in keeping with the heritage of the area. In the process, we will be bringing 500 construction jobs which will be more good news for the town. It's great to add to our strong track record in the town of Watford.”