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HomeArticlesThe past and present of St Anns Shopping Centre in Harrow

The past and present of St Anns Shopping Centre in Harrow

We’re all familiar with it – St Ann’s Shopping Centre is a collection of stores and restaurants in Harrow Town Center. With a long history spanning nearly forty years, the shopping centre has grown to play a significant role in the borough since it opened in the 1980s.

St Anns Shopping Centre’s plans were drawn up in the early 1980s, when designs for a huge reconstruction of the town centre first came to fruition. Described at the time as a modern, energetic retail and recreational attraction that would draw guests from all around London and the neighbouring areas – this was what the overall goal was when creating this shopping centre.

The past and present of St Anns Shopping Centre in Harrow Harrow Online
The St Anns Road entrance.

Building work started in 1985, and Princess Diana herself cut the ribbon for its official opening to the public in November 1987. Residents of Harrow were thrilled to see Diana visiting the borough and meeting local residents and business owners in the town centre as hundreds flocked to see her at the grand opening. St Ann’s Road inspired the naming of the shopping centre, which you will no doubt all be familiar with.

Upon its opening, two of the main stores located inside the building were a branch of Littlewoods and Sainsbury’s. These were soon joined by a variety of well-known retailers, including department stores, and fashion boutiques. Dixons, River Island, Clarks, and WH Smith were a few of these; the last is still present in the centre today. Harrow was undoubtedly an excellent spot to shop as it rapidly became a bustle of activity as customers flocked to the centre to take advantage of its many stores.

The past and present of St Anns Shopping Centre in Harrow Harrow Online
The food court is always busy.

Over the years, St Anns Shopping Centre has continued to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of its customers. In 2004, the centre underwent a major refurbishment, which saw the introduction of new stores and restaurants. The refurbishment also included improvements to the centre’s design and layout, making it more user-friendly and accessible to shoppers.

Today, St Anns Shopping Centre is home to a diverse range of retailers including major high street brands such as Primark, independent boutiques, and lots of places to eat – the food court has never ceased in popularity with Burger King, KFC and Subway amongst options. The centre continues to be an important part of the local community, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for shoppers of all ages and backgrounds.

The past and present of St Anns Shopping Centre in Harrow Harrow Online
The food court in St Ann’s

As it looks towards the future, St Anns Shopping Centre remains committed to providing a first-class retail and leisure experience to its customers, and to playing an active role in the ongoing regeneration of Harrow Town Centre. With its rich history and strong community spirit, the shopping centre is sure to remain a beloved fixture of the local landscape for years to come.

Have you paid a visit to St Anns recently? If so let us know what you thought, drop us a comment on the Harrow Online Group.

 

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