A multi-million-pound regeneration of Birmingham's city centre – which includes bringing the 'Floozie in the Jacuzzi' back to life as a fountain – is set to be approved by Cabinet next week.
The first phase of improvements, which could potentially b be completed before the start of the 2022 Commonwealth Games – will be discussed on 19 January 2021.
Work on the £12.4 million first phase is set to begin in the summer and will see improvements to Victoria Square, The River (the Floozie's real name) repaired and reinstated as a fountain, along with improved security measures to replace current temporary arrangements.
Cllr Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: "Our city centre welcomes more than 42 million people a year and following the regeneration of Centenary Square and Paradise [Circus], it's time for the business and retail areas to be revitalised."
This initial phase of works will be carried out in two parts: the first includes the improvements to Victoria Square, The River fountain, and installation of permanent security measures at seven locations. The latter forms part of a comprehensive safety and security strategy for the city centre – replacing temporary measures which have been in place for several years, and are in urgent need of an upgrade.
The second part of these works, which are set to be completed by October 2023, will see areas around Colmore Row and Waterloo Street made pedestrian and cyclist friendly.
It has been more than 25 years since significant improvements have been made to the city centre's public spaces - Victoria Square was pedestrianised in 1993 - and this is set to be a very busy area by next summer when the Games get underway.