Watford develops into dynamic business hub

As London expands, places like Watford are transcending commuter town status

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The Colosseum, one of Watford’s cultural gems. The town's infrastructure, culture and commercial assets have made it one of the UK's most best destinations to live in and do business

Watford is a dynamic business location. The town is defined by its wealth of science, innovation and commercial assets, and it has the right infrastructure to bring them together.

Located just 17 miles from London, and functioning as a transport hub to the Midlands and northern England, Watford’s location puts it at the heart of one of the most vibrant regions in Europe. Being just 16 minutes by train from central London offers global business opportunities without the stress and cost of being in the capital.

Watford’s extraordinary location offers businesses direct access to one of the world’s leading
talent pools

Enviable accessibility
Watford has the world on its doorstep. The town is easily reached from all of London’s major international airports, it is the first major stop on the West Coast Mainline from London to Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool, it is located close to the intersection of the M1 and M25 motorways, and it benefits from London Underground and Overground services.

On top of this already outstanding connectivity, Watford Borough Council, along with its partners Hertfordshire County Council, London Underground and Network Rail, is embarking on the construction of the Croxley Rail Link. This is a proposed extension of the London Underground’s Metropolitan Line to Watford Junction. The overall aim of the project is to improve connectivity within Watford and between Watford, London and the rest of the UK, thereby supporting economic development and sustainable travel choices.

With five million people living within a 40-minute commute and rated as the UK’s fifth best-connected borough, Watford’s extraordinary location offers businesses direct access to one of the world’s leading talent pools. This makes it easy to do business across the UK and beyond, with the opportunity to get right to the heart of international markets.

Present and future
An ever expanding range of businesses and business sectors have chosen Watford as their home, including financial firms, professional services providers, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers and, most recently, creative media. The latter is driven by the proximity of the new Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden.

As well as being a commercial and transport hub, Watford is a major regional shopping centre, serving North London and the Home Counties with almost 1.5 million ft² of retail space. Watford Borough Council, alongside partner Intu Properties, is investing here in the form of the new Watford Market, public realm enhancements, and a new £100m retail and leisure redevelopment in the heart of the town centre, commencing in spring 2015.

The investment plans don’t stop there either. The other big news for early 2015 is the Watford Health Campus. This is a long-term regeneration initiative, aiming to provide new infrastructure in the form of a new access road. The goal is to open up a large area of unused and derelict land, which can be used for new hospital facilities, 750 new homes and 200,000ft² of commercial space. This will all form part of an exciting mixed-use development, to be delivered in partnership with Kier Investments over the next 10-15 years.

The council is proud of Watford’s role as a centre of economic significance and as a major hub for North London. The town’s locational advantage, coupled with the major investments planned for 2015, will ensure that Watford continues to be an ideal location for businesses seeking all the advantages of being close to London, but with a fraction of the operating costs.