Beetham Plaza New Hotel
Elliot's proposals for Beetham Plaza

Council asked to bid for Bucket Fountain land

Charlie Schouten

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.

Your Comments

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If Eliott is the Messiah (as he and others believe) surely he would he gift the bucket fountain (monstrosity) and the land to the council?

By Carl

If it’s listed surely it’s tough for Elliot Group – they should leave it where it is. With a cash strapped council they shouldn’t be being forced into this situation by a developer which does well from selling apartments in their city.

By Paul Smith

Why do we need to buy the land?

There is nothing compelling the council to allow it to be moved onto public land and, given its listing, why not simply refuse permission to move it at all?

By Mike

In 1962 half if the city was supposed to be demolished for ’60s progress’ schemes. Williamson Square was partially demolished for the infamous ‘walkways’, now thankfully swept away. The bucket fountain is of its time and would be completely inappropriate now in other parts of the city centre. It was placed outside Wilberforce House (alias Beetham Plaza) where all these 60s plans were drawn up when it was the Planning Office for Liverpool City Council.

By Liverpolitan

I’ve so many happy memories of the bucket fountain – my Dad used to take me there every Sunday morning in the 80’s. Hopefully it’ll find a good home one way or the other. Another under rated Liverpool treasure! ☺️

By SQ Lover

More of the usual negative, anti-development noise coming from opportunistic local councillors wanting to make political hay from the grumblings of a few heritage mafia nimbys who can always be relied on to moan about anything the city tries to do to develop for the future and move forward. Cllr Nick Small has incredibly form when it comes to trying to stand in the way of progress, in fact it’s all he seems to do in a desperate attempt to justify his position as a councillor. If he’s not trying to stop the development of major much needed office space at Bixteth Gardens he’s running to the front of the latest mob over this barely visited fountain. The best thing that could be done is for this fountain to be moved and there is a plethora of great and easily accessible spots this unique fountain would be at home in central Liverpool. Alas, typically we have the usual anti-developer rhetoric from those who just love to protest at any new development because they just don’t like change.

By Michael McDonough

Nicely put Paul Smith.

By Carl

Many of us don’t know anything about Councillor Nick Small, we just think it’s better where it is and would be inappropriate in other parts of the city centre. I’m all in favour of offices behind Exchange Station by the way. We need the city to move forwards not backwards!

By Liverpolitan

Many of us do know of Nick, and still our indignation remains perfectly valid.

This city has done enough favours for so called developers in recent years, and no we haven’t reaped the whirlwind of benefits. Only they have. In fact, we are the ones on the receiving end of an ever worsening city centre. Water Street is a ghost town these days thanks to “developers”, and the only possible glint on the horizon comes from the government, of all people!

Now, if it was that someone wanted to build offices here, rather than yet another place for stag and hen parties to doss down in, I’d be more than happy for the council to get involved and do what they can.

But that isn’t happening, and we are watching the council keenly as to how they try and spend our money.

By Mike

There is no way the bucket fountain should be located at Williamson’s Square. It would be broken in no time, and its magnificence lost amidst the shabby surroundings. A really bad suggestion and displaying total lack of appreciation for what the fountain is about.

By JA

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