Liverpool City Council is being asked to “open negotiations” with Elliot Group to buy land at Beetham Plaza in a bid to keep the prominent ‘Bucket Fountain’ sculpture in place.
The fountain at Beetham Plaza is set to be moved, despite a listing last month by Historic England, to accommodate Elliot’s plans to build a 100-room aparthotel to be occupied by Epic and designed by architect Falconer Chester Hall.
Elliot Group had submitted an application earlier this year for its aparthotel scheme but in May asked for the application not to be considered pending a possible listing by Historic England; that listing was confirmed by the heritage body last month following a campaign supported by local councillors including Cllr Nick Small.
Commissioned in 1962 and delivered by Richard Huws, the fountain sits at the centre of Beetham Plaza and commemorates the start of the controversial Tryweryn Water Scheme, which led to the displacement of 70 residents of Capel Celyn village after it was flooded.
Now, Cllr Richard Kemp has submitted a motion to Liverpool City Council’s regeneration and sustainability committee in a bid to buy the land and keep the listed fountain in-situ.
The motion says: “This committee welcomes the listing of the bucket fountains monument. It believes that it and its surroundings is an important recognition of the architecture and direction of the city in the 1960s.
“It believes that the only place for the bucket fountain to be is in its current setting for which it was specifically designed.
“It therefore requests the council to open negotiations with the owners of the land to buy the land and preserve and maintain the buckets fountain, if appropriate by the creation of a specific local trust which could take the ownership of the land and fountain for posterity and raise its own funding for purchase and maintenance.”
Elliot had been considering two sites for the relocation of the fountain, one of which is Williamson Square.
Beetham Plaza was also not the fountain’s originally intended location, although Cllr Kemp argued it was “specifically designed” for the site.
The Merseyside Civic Society, the fountain’s promoters, spent around three years in the early 1960s looking for sites within Liverpool, with other choices discounted before it ended up at Goree Piazza, as the land at Beetham Plaza is now known.
Other sites considered, according to the Civic Society, were the corner of Church Street and Parker Street; Richard Huws also suggested situating the fountain at Williamson Square in 1962.
Cllr Kemp’s motion is due to be discussed by the council on 12 September. Elliot Group declined to comment until the motion is decided.