One of Birmingham’s most recognisable city centre landmarks is to be given a colourful new appearance this summer when it is filled with flowers and plants.
The River fountain – known colloquially as ‘the Floozie in the Jacuzzi’ – in Victoria Square has not been fully operational since late 2013 due to a leak which resulted in water consumption being too high. Subsequent repairs did not rectify the issue, meaning that a full feasibility study is now required to establish the full extent of the problem and the cost and timescale of repairing it.
In the interim, Birmingham City Council is planning to fill the fountain with flowers and plants until such a study can be carried out in January 2016.
It is planned to have the planting completed by mid-July, including the upper pool housing the Floozie, the lower pool which features two smaller statues and the cascade steps between the two, creating a colourful centrepiece to Victoria Square.
Councillor Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “Victoria Square is one of Birmingham’s most popular and best used public spaces, with the fountain being the first thing many people see when entering the square.
“We recognise that Victoria Square does not look its best when the fountain is not flowing and are determined to resolve this issue as soon as we know the full extent of the work and costs required. We know that if we left the fountain flowing then it would cost around £2,000 a day – more than a £100,000 a year – in water alone, which is simply not financially sustainable.
“However, rather than continue with the fountain switched off, we want to ensure that Victoria Square is as attractive as possible for those who use it on a daily basis and that the ‘Floozie’ remains a focal point.
“As a city, we have won national recognition for our high quality floral displays, as evidenced by our continued success at the Chelsea Flower Show, so it is a logical progression to extend this expertise to one of our best known landmarks until such a time as the fountain is up and running again.”
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