Eyewear giant Specsavers has launched its 1,000th UK and Irish store in Harpenden.

The ribbon was cut during a ceremony on Monday (April 8) attended by mayor Cllr Fiona Gaskell, Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins and rugby legend Ugo Monye.

The store sits at 34 High Street and has cost the company £350,000, featuring four optical testing rooms and a dual audiology room for hearing concerns.

Herts Advertiser: Harpenden mayor Fiona Gaskell was in attendance.Harpenden mayor Fiona Gaskell was in attendance. (Image: Specsavers / Tigerbond)

Cllr Fiona Gaskell said: "It was such a privilege to open the 1000th Specsavers store in Harpenden.

"Speaking with Dame Mary and the store team, it was very clear that they cannot wait to meet the Harpenden residents and begin working in the community.

"I cannot wait to see the amazing things I know they will do in the area."

Former rugby player and Strictly Come Dancing Contestant Ugo Monye added: "I’ve been wearing glasses since the age of 12, and with a company such as Specsavers bringing a wide variety of styles, wearing glasses has never been more popular.

Herts Advertiser: Four optical testing rooms and a dual audiology room have been included.Four optical testing rooms and a dual audiology room have been included. (Image: Specsavers / Tigerbond)

"I’ve played with so many Harpenden natives throughout my career, both at Harlequins and for England, so it is an honour to help mark this amazing milestone."

Lastly, Specsavers retail director Lewis Carroll commented: "Creating this store has been such a fulfilling journey.

"Having the pleasure to watch residents go by while we added our touches to the store has given me a real sense of what the town is all about.

Herts Advertiser: Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins visited Harpenden for the launch.Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins visited Harpenden for the launch. (Image: Specsavers / Tigerbond)

"Harpenden is a unique place filled with amazing people, success, and history.

"Our mission is to add to the great value and quality in Harpenden, and this goes past providing optical and audiological care."

Plans were initially submitted for the vacant High Street unit in December last year (2023).


At the time, "careful thought and consideration" was given to the design due to Harpenden's character and its proximity to the Green Belt.

There was also an intention to "retain the existing aesthetic qualities of the building" while aligning with Specsavers' national branding and signage.

The Harpenden store will now be open from 9am every day, with varying closing times.