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Historic Dudley fountain to become centrepiece

A historic fountain will become centrepiece for a £6.7million revamped market place after restoration plans were approved by councillors.


Water will once more flow from the 19th Century fountain in Dudley High Street with the scheme unanimously backed. Multi-million regeneration works are under way to transform the market place into a thriving focal point.

While work is progressing on the projects, councillors have also agreed to major works to renovate the Grade II listed Earl of Dudley fountain. Land will be excavated underneath the structure, which formally stood near the Duncan Edwards statue, to allow for a pump chamber to be built.

This will house hydraulics and electrics to bring the fountain back into use as a feature for the revamped market.

Dudley Council's planning committee backed the proposal for the fountain at a meeting this week.

Committee chairman, Councillor Qadar Zada, today said that the work was a vital step along the way to boost the town centre.

"It was a really good application and with it you feel that the regeneration of the town centre is beginning to come together," he said. "For all these people who have been coming to Dudley and saying that the town isn't doing well, this is a way to show that the regeneration is moving forward.

"If you put this scheme with the overall market plan you can see this coming through. It is a platform for future development."

Conservation body English Heritage also welcomed the news of the revamp for the Earl of Dudley fountain to help restore historic links in the town centre.

Historic buildings inspector Alan Taylor said in a letter to the council of the works: "Its installation is necessary as part of the agreed restoration and enhancement of the fountain and the wider public realm works in the town centre."

Works on the market place have now moved to a new stage as market stall holders have been asked to temporarily move pitches.

Dudley's market traders can now be found on the opposite side of the fountain, with an overspill at Stone Street Square on busy days. They have been moved to make way for stage two of work on the scheme, which includes the replacement of the existing market stalls.

The town's market will continue to operate six days a week during this period.

The scheme includes the demolition of the old toilet block to open up views towards Dudley Castle.The Duncan Edwards statue is also being moved to a more prominent positionin the market place.

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