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Duke of Gloucester officially opens City Park
Bradford’s six-acre award-winning City Park was officially opened yesterday by the Duke of Gloucester with the unveiling of a plaque containing a quote about enchanting fountains from one of the city’s most famous sons, J B Priestley.
The Duke, a cousin of the Queen, took in the park and the mirror pool and all its 100 fountains from the pavilion roof, before being shown the underground plant room from where the water and lights are controlled, followed by a video of the construction work.
He was accompanied by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, and they then met the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bradford, Councillor Dale Smith and his wife Margaret, the leader of the Council, Councillor David Green; Conservative group leader, Councillor Glen Miller.
They were also introduced to Barra MacRuairi, strategic director of regeneration, Shelagh O’'Neill, economic development programmes manager and Bob Parker, city centre operations manager.
The Duke met members of City Park’s design, contractor and operational teams before he unveiled the plaque.
He congratulated those that were involved in creating “this unique and very special place” and praised the scheme for following the architectural adage of designing the spaces between buildings, as well as the buildings themselves.
The Lord Mayor, Coun Smith, said: “It’s great to see a project come to fruition and to have the final seal of approval that the centre of Bradford has been transformed.”
Coun Green added: “I am delighted that the Duke could make time to come and officially open the City Park.
“We are going to continue to develop events and attractions in City Park for the benefit not just of the people of the Bradford district, but also for the whole of the region and wider audience.”
The plaque containing the words by J B Priestleyreads: FOUNTAINS I doubt if I ever saw one, even the smallest, without some tingling of delight. They enchant me in the daytime, when the sunlight ennobles their jets and sprays and turns their scattered drops into diamonds.
They enchant me after dark when coloured lights are played on them, and the night rains emeralds, rubies, sapphires. And, best of all, when the last colour is whisked away, and there they are in dazzling white glory!
The six-acre public space was opened to the public by Bradford Council in March and its final costs are still unknown, although the Council has said it expects this to be close to the original estimate of £24.5 million.
Figures released earlier this year showed that electronic footfall counters installed around City Park had recorded an average of nearly 100,000 visitors a week throughout July and August.
Earlier this month the park won the Regeneration Award at the British Construction Industry Awards.