The heart of Harrow resides in its popular shopping centres, St Ann’s and St George’s, which have now been the main attraction of Harrow for many years.
St Ann’s Shopping Centre, opened in 1987, by Princess Diana, has 40 stores as of 2022, 2 huge floors with 940 parking spaces. St George’s Shopping Centre, opened in 1996, which has 30 stores including a cinema complex and consists of 3 floors.
In the early stages, the shopping centres consisted of brands such as Woolworths, Virgin Megastore, Fatty Arbuckles, and The Disney Store – which no doubt many of our older readers will remember. Woolworths was a popular store located where Wilko now sits, next to a pub called ‘Republica’ which unfortunately no longer exists.
The great thing about both the centres is that history has not been forgotten. The famous spiral staircase and detailed designs on the railings at St George’s was part of its creation and it still resides there to this day. Even though there have been many changes, history has been embedded in the walls and it shall be remembered.
Why are the Shopping Centres so popular?
Let me enlighten you… the reason why the shopping centres are loved and visited so often is because of the modern, popular stores, such as H&M, Primark, M&S and Boots. There is a variation of food stores ranging from KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Nando’s, Pizza Express and Starbucks whilst further serving different cultural cuisines.
Moreover, residents and tourists praise the cleanliness of the centres as well as the easy commutable routes, such as bus/underground stations nearby and parking availability. Additionally, they have built lifts and escalators to make visitations more accessible for the disabled, elderly and others. Therefore, the centres have improved to give Harrow residents a warm welcome, with easy and hassle-free access and experience.
As of 2022, the shopping centres are modernised and much more suited to this generation. Tons of work has been done to improve the environmental conditions, such as creating new pavements and surfaces, benches, planting and decorative lighting. An art exhibition has launched in St Ann’s and which helps inform residents about climate issues and new potential changes through various art formats.
Overall, these shopping centres have drastically evolved over the years and they will continue to change with the upcoming generations. Some of the changes will include creating a new outdoor performance space which is believed to evoke excitement and long-awaited energy into Harrow. The aim has and will always be to continuously adapt the centres in accordance with public needs as they are the main point of attraction.
Alongside this, the expansion and opening of new stores will keep citizens engaged, this will ensure Harrow never loses its spark.