CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Trading places - Hemel Hempstead

PUBLISHED: 11:50 07 April 2011 | UPDATED: 21:31 20 February 2013

Trading places - Hemel Hempstead

Trading places - Hemel Hempstead

With a wealth of shops, businesses and a bustling social life, Hemel Hempstead is really coming into its own with plenty to offer residents and visitors...

WITH regeneration plans in the pipeline and an already diverse retail and business aspect, the future of Hemel Hempstead looks bright.


The Riverside is an open air shopping centre which opened in 2005 and has shops ranging from Debenhams to H&M and from Orange to Waterstone's, as well as food outlets including Pizza Express, Aroma and Oojam.


The Marlowes Shopping Centre has about 75 stores and caters for all tastes and budgets, with shops including M&S, Topshop, River Island, JD Sports and The Body Shop.


Jarman Park leisure centre has a cinema, 10-pin bowling, an ice rink, a water park and two nightclubs.


Early last year work to regenerate Maylands Business Park began, with a vision to develop the site as a sustainable, well connected green business park, and plans to improve the appearance of the area and provide a high standard of commercial accommodation.


The 23million Snow Centre, built on the former Hemel Ski Slope, opened its doors in 2009 and boasts 8000m2 of real snow slopes, including a 160m main slope and a 100m lesson slope.


Hemel Hempstead's outdoor market is located in the centre of Marlowes, along the pedestrianised area, on Thursdays and Saturdays and is the ideal place to pick up fruit and vegetables, clothes and household goods.
For something unique, browse the antique shops in the Old Town High Street, where you will also find plenty of restaurants and pubs.


A regeneration project called Hemel 2020 Vision is currently underway, and a spokesman for Dacorum Borough Council explains, 'We are moving forward on a number of major projects which are seeking to enhance quality of life in the area, provide more homes, create new business and employment opportunities and enhance our environment. Many of these are long-term plans, but there are exciting developments already underway. As an example we are looking to improve Hemel Hempstead town centre itself.


'JMP have been appointed to develop proposals for improvements to the pedestrian shopping area in Marlowes to raise the profile of the town centre and encourage shoppers and visitors to the area, boosting the local economy. The first stage of their work is looking at how we can make improvements to elements of the shopping area, such as street furniture - for example bins, lampposts, benches - lighting, signs, works of public art and the play area. We will be consulting on their initial options and proposals around March this year.'


Chris Taylor, the council's group manager of strategic planning and regeneration, adds, 'We want to create a town centre that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The Riverside development started this process, now we're looking at ways to make improvements across the whole of the area so that Hemel Hempstead's town centre becomes an area even more people will want to visit and enjoy.'


The outskirts of Hemel are home to many other thriving businesses and hotels including Bushwood Antiques at nearby Little Gaddesden and Shendish Manor at Apsley.


Did you know


THE town's tallest building, the KD Tower, is the former offices of Kodak and has since been converted into luxury apartments, as well as office space.



The road to recovery


IN the early hours of Sunday, December 11, 2005, a number of explosions occurred at Buncefield Oil Storage Depot in Hemel Hempstead and a large fire engulfed a high proportion of the site, with over 40 people injured but no fatalities.


The blaze, which destroyed most of the site, was tackled by 180 firefighters over four days, displaced 16,500 workers and forced 2,000 residents into temporary accommodation. The explosion destroyed 20 business premises, affecting 500 employees, and made a further 60 premises unusable for many months, affecting 3,500 personnel.


An investigation revealed that the overfilling of a fuel storage tank had led to an escape of unleaded petrol, which led to a cloud of vapour igniting. Five companies were convicted for health and safety and environmental offences and were ordered to pay a total of 9.5million in fines and costs.


Work has since been carried out to bring the site back into service.

0 comments

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 10:10

Don’t miss the December issue – everything you need for a fabulous Herts Christmas!

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We quiz author Kevin Exley about his new book that takes the reader on the trail of fascinating stories, new and old, around Berkhamsted

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Don’t miss the November issue of Hertfordshire Life - out now!

Read more
Monday, October 29, 2018

Hertfordshire is a county with a vast, fascinating and sometimes dark and bloody history that has reportedly lead to more than a few angry ghosts sticking around to wreak havoc and take revenge on the living. We have gathered 10 of the most haunted places in the county

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Make the most out of autumn with these eight walking routes that take in a variety of Hertfordshire’s terrains and - most importantly – have a cosy pub along the way

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We've selected a variety of spooky activities in the county that are sure to delight the kids

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Christmas isn’t complete without a trip to a festive fair. From German-style food stalls to vintage fetes, Hertfordshire’s Christmas markets have it all

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Charlotte Hussey explores the fascinating world of bats and new projects in the county to help conserve these remarkable creatures

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species is asking the public to look out for mammals on Hertfordshire’s roads as part of a citizen science project

Read more
September 2018
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

From stately homes to skateparks, we have selected some of the best ideas for things to do in Hertfordshire

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search