A property company says towns such as Watford are becoming a favourite for businesses to base themselves in following the coronavirus pandemic.

The RO group says the future "lies with suburban villages and commuter towns such as Watford” and "lies in places commuters call home".

It comes following the refurbishment of 49 Clarendon Road in Watford – which has been rebranded as GNR8. 

It has become the first building in Hertfordshire to secure a Fitwel Certification -  Fitwel sets out evidence-based design and operational strategies that enhance buildings by addressing a broad range of health behaviours and risks.

A new tenant has also been secured at the property - AS24 Fuel Card Ltd – which has taken 1,900 sq. ft. on the second floor. 

David Kershaw, Group Real Estate Director at the RO, said: “Following the outbreak of coronavirus, the future lies with suburban villages and commuter towns such as Watford.  It lies in places commuters call home, where they can replace the ties of office with those of neighbourhood. 

“Employee and employer interest in healthy working environments were already strong trends before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a focus on workplace wellbeing has now been accelerated.  Ample natural light and fresh air remain core components of the Fitwel model and we believe that building wellness accreditations which ensure these valuable qualities will be more in demand from employers and employees. 

“We look forward to welcoming AS24 Fuel Card to GNR8 and are delighted to make a workspace available to them and their employees which they know contributes positively to occupant wellbeing in these turbulent times.  Commuter-belt property hotspots such as Watford are seeing the biggest surge in demand after lockdown.”

Since the beginning of the year, contractors have been working in Clarendon Road, revitalising the street that connects Watford Junction and the High Street.

Watford Borough Council's vision is to create a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment which supports cycling, walking and public amenity.

Improvements have been made at the junction with the ring road, while for the last nine to ten months, a section of Clarendon Road between the ring road and St Johns Road has been a building site.

This stretch of road is now open in both directions, as work begins on the next phase.

For the next 12 months, work will be focused on the section of Clarendon Road between St John's Road and Station Road.

Traffic along this section of road will be restricted to northbound traffic only - except between November 21 and January 3 when traffic will be two-way.

Drivers wishing to travel southbound along Clarendon Road (from Watford Junction towards the town centre) must follow signed diversion routes via St Albans Road and Beechen Grove/ring road.