Mandela Gardens fountain: Funding needed to fix 'disgusting' water feature in Leeds city centre

It is hoped that repairs to a neglected Leeds fountain will be underway soon, but they will only come “once funding has been identified”.
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Leeds City Council has released a statement on the run down water feature that stands at the centre of the Mandela Gardens, in Millennium Square.

When it was first installed almost 20 years ago, clear streams of water flowed along concrete steps and erupted from metal spouts – but that water now sits stagnant at the bottom of the pool.

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It has been the case since before the pandemic, with calls made by the likes of Peter Fawcett, 74, a professional gardener, for the fountain to be fixed. The former Kirklees Council worker said it was once “the jewel in the crown of Leeds parks”, but has become a “disgusting mess”.

Peter Fawcett, 74, a professional garden, has criticised Leeds City Council for failing to fix the fountain at Millennium Square's Mandela Gardens. He described the water feature as a "disgusting mess" that has been broken since before the pandemic.Peter Fawcett, 74, a professional garden, has criticised Leeds City Council for failing to fix the fountain at Millennium Square's Mandela Gardens. He described the water feature as a "disgusting mess" that has been broken since before the pandemic.
Peter Fawcett, 74, a professional garden, has criticised Leeds City Council for failing to fix the fountain at Millennium Square's Mandela Gardens. He described the water feature as a "disgusting mess" that has been broken since before the pandemic.

Now, the council has responded to the concerns. A spokesperson said: “We understand how valued Mandela Gardens is by the public and we hope to address the issue soon, once funding has been identified.”

The council gave no further details, despite questions about what was causing the fault and why it remained.

The garden was brought to Leeds from the Chelsea Flower Show, after it was a star attraction at the prestigious event in 2004. It was designed to reflect the exotic colours of South Africa.

It formed the backdrop to Nelson Mandela’s visit to Leeds in 2001, when he inaugurated a sculpture that stands next to the gardens named after the South African former president.