A new children’s play area and water feature have been completed in Coventry city centre, transforming Bull Yard ahead of UK City of Culture 2021.
The area surrounding The Wave waterpark, previously occupied by bland paving and a motorcycle parking bay, now includes a children’s play area and bespoke Terrazzo furniture, designed by Studio Morison.
A new water feature also graces the area, with night time lighting designed to resemble a fireworks display among the 24 small jets, four Laminar jets, four high output jets and fog ring.
The ground has been resurfaced with a resin-bound gravel, in colours that compliment the surrounding environment, especially Christchurch Spire.
Councillor Patricia Hetherton described pink was used to reflect the colours of the Cathedral, while shades of blue are meant to conjure images of the city’s market and history of ribbon weaving.
Picnic benches, cycle hoops, fencing and lighting have also all been added to the area.
The transformation comes thanks to £2.7 million worth of funding from the Government’s Local Growth Fund and the West Midlands Combined Authority.
Nick Abell, chair of the CWLEP, who manage the Local Growth Fund, said the improvements to the area make it “a great facility for youngsters to enjoy the play area and water feature while adults will appreciate the improved landscape.”
The area is one of the main arteries when arriving by train into the city, so it is hoped that the improvements will make visitor’s initial perception of the city centre more positive, especially during the upcoming year as UK City of Culture.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle said: “This area looks completely different to how it used to. It’s lighter, brighter and greener – all things that we want the city centre to be.”
The motorcycle parking bay that previously occupied the area has been relocated nearby, further south on Warwick Road.
The pelican crossing on Warwick Road, right next to the new play area and benches, has also been transformed in recent months with a new rainbow design, meant to represent the LGBT flag.
Though, the project experienced some complications when the new design become faded and began to crumble as cars drove over it, and has faced criticism over its rising costs, initially almost £7,000 for a small road design.