Removal of town centre fountain is essential for Nuneaton's regeneration
Published on Wednesday, 10th August 2022
The removal of Nuneaton’s lilypad fountain is the latest step in the transformation of the town centre
Funding for the removal of the Market Place feature which has regularly been a target of vandals, will come from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) and will cost in the region of £40,000.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council has received a total of £4m from the national government fund which must be spent over the next three years and is separate from the council’s annual budget, and so is not paid from council tax.
Cllr Samuel Croft, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Affairs at Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said:
“This is another stage in Nuneaton town centre regeneration, the current fountain takes up space in what should be an attractive central market square.
“Removing it will open up a central plaza and let us have more space for events, markets, and outdoor dining, and also help make the town look nicer by showing off our heritage buildings.
“While the vast majority of our visitors are law-abiding, it is currently a magnet for anti-social behaviour, vandalism and a meeting place for troublemakers, especially after hours and this plan will aid with attempts to clean up and restore order to the town centre.’’
It is estimated that removing the fountain will produce a saving to the taxpayer, because it currently costs £3,000 each year for running and repair costs, with an extra £5,000 needing to be spent on bespoke parts and lights.
This is on top of any additional repairs from the damage that frequently gets caused from vandals filling the fountain with washing up liquid.
The council is aware that the site is used in the daytime by shoppers for seating, but plans are being formulated to ensure that seating in the area is maintained.
Cllr Croft added:
“Now that the Government has given us the SPF funding, we are using some of the year one capital funds for space improvements to take it out. This money is not coming from the council's own budget.
“It's better that we use central government money once to remove the fountain than spend the limited funds of the council taxpayer to maintain and repair it every year.’’
Cllr Kris Wilson, Leader of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said:
“Nuneaton Town Centre lacks a true area where visitors can come together. Using this opportunity to remove the fountain, which has outlived its usefulness, to create a new square will open up the surrounding area.
“More space will be available for our markets, access will be improved to the surrounding buildings and a community square can be created for the events we want to bring into our town.”
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