Peterborough fountains cost £280k in 12 years

Peterborough’s fountains in Cathedral Square have cost £280,000 to run over the past 12 years.
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The water feature was the centrepiece of a £12 million project to redevelop the square, with the jets switched on for the first time on June 2, 2010.

Along with the fountains, the scheme also saw the square re-paved and the old, unpopular Norwich Union office block demolished.

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The money for the works came from a grant, meaning the city council did not have to make a financial contribution.

The fountains in Cathedral SquareThe fountains in Cathedral Square
The fountains in Cathedral Square

However, running the fountains has cost the authority £280,868 from the 2010/11 financial year up to May 20, 2021.

This includes maintenance costs of at least £81,000 over the period.

In 2020/21, there was an increase in expenditure because a number of replacements were made, including for pumps and UV lamps, as well as “electrical remedies” and new lighting.

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Other repairs in previous years include the fountains being fully cleaned and the tanks and system disinfected, along with light repairs and servicing costs.

The fountains have caused a great deal of debate over the years.

They were introduced under the council leadership of John Peach, who told the Peterborough Telegraph in a 10 year anniversary piece that without the redevelopment, a number of large firms would not have invested in the city.

However, Toby Wood from Peterborough Civic Society described them as “underwhelming”.