St George’s Square finally finished - £4m and 550 days later

IT’S finally finished. The new-look £4m St George’s Square was officially unveiled yesterday evening – seven months behind schedule.

St George's Square

IT’S finally finished.

The new-look £4m St George’s Square was officially unveiled yesterday evening – seven months behind schedule.

About 150 people watched as four-year-old Connor Jackson, of Fenay Bridge, cut the ribbon on the new water cascade with the help of Mayor of Kirklees, councillor Julie Stewart-Turner.

Connor was chosen to open the cascade after his grandmother wrote to her councillor revealing her grandson’s fascination with development work.

After unveiling the square, Connor ran through the water jets with his sister Sasha.

Grandma Eileen Jackson, from Brockholes, said: “He’s been excited all day – in fact he’s been excited all week.

“He’s not had that builders’ hat off since he got it last week.

“I think he will always think it is his square.

“The square looks really nice and I think when the crowds have cleared and you come out of the station the feature at the bottom will look really impressive.”

The revival includes a large water cascade at the bottom of the square and eight jet fountains.

The square’s revamp received a thumbs-up from onlookers who cheered when the lights were switched on.

Greenhead College student, Kerry Simpson, was having her photo taken next to the water jets in front of the railway station.

The 18-year-old from Marsh said: “I think it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Huddersfield.

“It makes me feel like staying here.

“It looks very effective and it makes me proud to be from Huddersfield.

“The fountains make it feel like this is a big city such as Birmingham or Manchester.”

All Saints’ High School student, Hayley Simpson, said the square was worth waiting for – and the £4m spent on it.

Picture gallery link on next page.

The 15-year-old said: “The kids are really enjoying the fountains.

“The opening has been a low-key event but they’ve been working on it for ages.”

The water features will be switched on every day at 7.30am and turned off at 11pm.

The jet fountains will be turned off during the winter months in case of frost and will be turned back on in spring.

The water cascade at the bottom of the square will operate all year round, while the coloured lights will be turned on from dusk until 11pm.

The controversial project has been dogged by problems from the start.

The revival work started in May 2008 and was delayed in March this year when contractors Wrekin Construction went into administration and redevelopment was taken over by the council.

The square was initially planned to be finished by early March this year, but it over-ran by seven months.

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Businesses around the square have complained about the impact the work has had on their livelihood.

The choice of Chinese granite was also questioned.

 

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