Hertfordshire LEP provided a loan to the Watford Riverwell scheme (previously known as Watford Health Campus) with the money being used for land decontamination and construction of a new access road, Thomas Sawyer Way, serving Watford Hospital, Watford Football Club and the new Watford Riverwell area. This is the first phase of the regeneration scheme.
Hertfordshire LEP invested in the project as part of its commitment to overcoming infrastructure issues that are holding back the economic development of the area, including providing funding for strategic road projects. Re-invigorating our places for the 21st Century is one of the priorities in our Strategic Economic Plan and we are working to deliver more housing and a good supply of employment land. Investing in Watford, with its excellent connections to London, also fulfills another one of our strategic aims to harness our relationships with London and elsewhere.
The road was opened in November 2016 and has significantly improved access to Watford General Hospital which has improved emergency times for blue light vehicles. The successful launch of the new road has also opened up access to the rest of the site, enabling development.
Construction on the first business zone, Trade City Watford, was completed in the third quarter of 2017, providing 70,000 sq. ft. of new business space and expected to create around 180 new jobs. Plans are also progressing on the design for the first phase of the residential area, with construction starting on 'Woodlands' in Autumn 2017. View the development timeline.
Trade City Watford
Artist's impression of Woodlands
The project has also had a big impact on training and employment in the borough. Eleven 16-24 year-olds have undertaken work experience or training with VolkerFitzpatrick, the contractors delivering the project in partnership with Watford Riverwell partners, and 121 local people have found jobs.
The project received a Growing Places Fund loan of £6m.