BIRMINGHAM’S iconic water feature – The River – is officially back on as a working fountain for the first time in nine years and as part of a £12.395million public realm revamp.
The fountain, affectionately known as ‘The Floozie in the Jacuzzi’, was created by Dhruva Mistry’s and installed as part of the pedestrianisation of Victoria Square in 1993.
It was intended to instil a feeling of ‘peace and safety’ in the public space but in 2013 it was drained and – for a time – was planted out.
But this week, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Coun Muhammad Afzal, and the Birmingham City Council Leader, Coun Ian Ward both led a countdown before water flowed from The Goddess to the lower pool.
Coun Ward said: “It is my absolute pleasure to welcome back Birmingham’s beloved water feature.
“We’re looking forward to a fantastic summer with the Commonwealth Games and a golden decade for the city, this is a great way to start that journey.
“Our city centre welcomes more than 42million people a year – and following the regeneration of Centenary Square and Paradise, it’s time for the business and retail areas to be revitalised.
“Improving the public spaces around the city centre will enable us to offer a world-class welcome to all those coming here to enjoy Birmingham 2022 – and we are ready to show the world how brilliant our city is.”
During the first phase of the scheme, The Goddess – who had been in her ‘bath’ for 28 years – was sent away on a six month ‘spa break’ to ensure she was cleaned and restored, ready to spend many more years in the water.
Birmingham Museums Trust, responsible for the care and maintenance of public art on behalf of Birmingham City Council, liaised directly with the contractor throughout these works to ensure best practice.
These works also include improved connectivity by pedestrianising areas of Colmore Row and Waterloo Street as well as the installation of permanent security features to ensure a safe and accessible area for all.