Bid to save fountain over new hotel plans

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The Piazza Fountain at Beetham Plaza.

Locals are rallying behind a petition to save a unique fountain in the city.

The Piazza Fountain in Beetham Plaza, also known as the Bucket Fountain, is under threat of removal by developers to create space for a new hotel.

Beetham Plaza was acquired by developers Elliot Group in a multi-million pound deal. It is now part of a £10 million hotel project, which will require the much-loved Piazza Fountain to be relocated to an undisclosed location.

The fountain is part of both the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Castle Street Conservation Area and is nationally recognised for its uniqueness and for its artistic, cultural and historical merit. It is thought to be one of only two so-called ‘bucket fountains’ remaining in the world.

Created by Welsh artist, Richard Huw, and revealed in 1967, the hydraulic structure uses kinetic energy to fill a series of steel containers with water. The artist stated that the fountain represents the turbulence and unpredictability of waves.

Director of Elliot Group, Elliot Lawless, said: “It’s a great piece of engineering but it’s hidden in this part of the business district and deserves a more visible location so that more people can enjoy it.

YouTube: Chantelle McKeever

“Just as our beloved Superlambanana had to find a new home, so it’s time for the buckets to go on a short journey. The question is, to where? We’re talking to the council about their own aspirations for the fountain, but would very much welcome the public’s view.”

However, a petition was started last Thursday by local resident, Rachel Reed, as she believes the fountain should not be relocated.

Ms Reed told JMU Journalism: “I have happy memories of visiting the fountain with my mum and nan, I was also annoyed by an Echo article implying it was a done deal.

“There was no public consultation. why move a much-loved fountain purely to make way for a hotel? Beetham Plaza is one of very few public spaces left in city centre. The fountain is the only monument to commemorate the slave trade in Liverpool. We need to preserve the heritage.”

Speaking about the response to the petition, Rachel added: “It received 2500 signatures in the first week. Friends of Piazza Fountain will start to distribute leaflets this week. People have offered to write to the council. There’s concern that they are prepared to allow a developer to take control of a decision about the future of a historic monument.”

About Chantelle McKeever, JMU Journalism