Caption: From left to right - Nick Abell (CWLEP), Logan Lloyd (10, first child to use the equipment), Cllr Jim O’Boyle and Cllr Patricia Hetherton.

A new children’s play area and water feature have transformed an area of Coventry city centre ahead of UK City of Culture 2021.

The Bull Yard has been revamped thanks to a £2.7 million scheme which includes £1.5 million from the Government’s Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) and the remainder from the West Midlands Combined Authority.

The area around the £36.7 million waterpark The Wave now includes a children’s play area with bespoke Terrazzo furniture designed by Studio Morison and a water feature designed by Fountain Workshops and delivered by Eurovia Contracting with night lighting resembling a firework display and including 24 small water jets, four Laminar jets, four high output jets and a fog ring.

A new resin bound gravel surface has been laid while picnic benches, cycle hoops, fencing and lighting with distinctive tri-columns have been installed in front of the Christchurch Spire.

Nick Abell, chair of the CWLEP, said it was great to see the project completed ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture 2021 from May.

“The public realm programme has really improved the appearance of this part of the city centre for young and old visitors,” he said.

“This is one of the key arrival points from Coventry Railway Station when the city welcomes visitors from across the UK and the world during its 12 months as UK City of Culture.
“It is a great facility for youngsters to enjoy the play area and water feature while adults will appreciate the improved landscape.

“The Local Growth Fund was established to finance projects such as this and it will help to revitalise Coventry city centre.”

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration at Coventry City Council and CWLEP board director, 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.”

“It’s a space that can be enjoyed by everyone, whether you’re stopping to eat at benches, a family enjoying the play area, stopping to admire the water feature or just passing through, it’s a warm welcome to the city centre!”

Councillor Patricia Hetherton, Cabinet Member for City Services at Coventry City Council said: “It’s nice to be able to share some positive news at the moment after such a difficult year and Bull Yard really does look lovely now. The play area has been designed in colours that reflect the pinks found in and around the Cathedral and blues that reflect our wonderful market and our history of ribbon weaving.

“But it’s not just the play area that’s special – we’ve focussed on all of the details so you will see amazing lighting, fantastic benches and a great new water feature.”