Indoor climbing operator Rock Up has opened at intu Watford as work completes on the £180 million extension to the shopping and leisure destination.
There are 27 climbing walls within Rocks Up’s 8,450 sq ft space close to John Lewis, with some towering over eight metres tall, as well as a softplay area, café and function rooms for parties.
The opening comes ahead of the launch of the centre’s 400,000 sq ft extension later this month which will expand intu Watford into a 1.4 million sq ft retail and leisure destination and promote the Hertfordshire town to a top 20 retail destination alongside Edinburgh and Bristol in CACI’s national rankings.
A 113,000 sq ft Debenhams will be the first store to open its doors there on 27 September and there will be 13 new shops and 11 new restaurants in total. A 23,626 sq ft Hollywood Bowl and 9-screen IMAX Cineworld will also anchor the space following their openings ahead of Christmas and Jack Wills, Superdry and bar and restaurant The Florist are among other retail and catering brands confirmed.
The centre’s existing malls, home to Rock Up as well as John Lewis, Zara and Mac, have also undergone a £13 million refurbishment programme.
Heidi Duckworth, executive chairman at Rock Up, said: “intu Watford is a key destination for the Rock Up brand and it’s an extremely exciting time for us to open this year alongside the many great brands and leisure operators coming to the centre. Not only does Watford’s catchment meet our core demographic, providing a family friendly offer, but with 38 million annual visits to Watford high street and 100,000 students within the catchment, there is huge potential for Rock Up.”
Rebecca Ryman, regional managing director at intu, said: “intu Watford is in high demand from all kinds of exciting operators looking to capitalise on the centre’s expansion and transformation. Rock Up is bringing something really new to the customer experience at intu Watford and we’re pleased to provide them with this great opportunity to thrive among the centre’s affluent catchment population.”
“The centre’s extension has created a fantastic new space that provides enormous potential for more retailers and leisure operators looking to invest in the centre. The whole site is currently a hive of activity with tenants fitting out and getting ready to open for business following Debenham’s launch later this month.”