Shoppers in Watford are calling for the revival of The Harlequin shopping centre after news that owner intu has gone into administration.

intu - which owns several shopping centres across the UK - has today announced that it will appoint administrators KPMG after failed talks with its lenders over a £4.5billion debt.

But its shopping centres - including the one in Watford - will continue to trade for the time being.

Following the news, readers have expressed their dismay and have also called for the revival of The Harlequin - what the shopping centre was known as before it changed its name in 2013.

Watford Observer:

More intu news:

It is possible that the shopping centre can continue under a different operator. Watford Borough Council owns the freehold of the shopping centre's site in the town, and a seven per cent stake in intu Watford.

Janet Stevens commented on the Observer's Facebook page: "Bring back The Harlequin."

Her views were echoed by several others, including Janet King, who commented: "Should have kept it how it was, The Harlequin."

Nigel Everett replied to a tweet: "Hopefully the Harlequin in Watford can go back to its proper name - nobody ever called it intu anyway!"

Another Twitter user by the name of 'Graham from Bushey' tweeted: "The Watford shopping Centre was called The Harlequin until intu changed its name, even though most people still refer to it as the Harlequin. Looks like the company will now change its name from intu Properties to intu Administration."

And Ian Wilkie tweeted: "Does this mean we can have The Harlequin back?"

Other shoppers expressed their dismay over the collapse of the shopping centre.

Robert Paterson tweeted: "I'm genuinely dismayed at this. intu has helped revived Watford's main shopping precinct. It looks fine now, and all the poorer parts of it are gone!"

Andy Lewis said it was "awful news" for staff and shoppers but said the shopping centre has not been a huge success.

He tweeted: "30 years ago, the bottom end of Watford High Street and the surrounding streets were flattened to make way for MARS1, later The Harlequin Centre, later still intu Watford. A whole host of interesting independent shops and businesses were priced out of the redevelopment.

"It's not been a huge success. And now intu have gone into administration. The fate of the businesses in their shopping centres is uncertain. This is awful news for all who work and shop in Watford town centre."

The announcement today means that about 3,000 intu jobs are at risk. A further 102,000 people work for shops within its centres.

Others readers posed questions about how intu landed itself in £4.5billion debt and what would happen to the Watford shopping centre now.