Portsmouth city centre fountain to reopen after refurb

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A CITY centre landmark will reopen tomorrow morning.

The fountain in Commercial Road, Portsmouth, has been under wraps since early March, to allow a major overhaul to take place.

Portsmouth City Council has spent £170,000 on the two-month project, just under half its original £350,000 budget for the work.

Specialists have restored the fountain’s eight stone beasts, which are based on originals used at the Queen’s coronation.

And its structure and workings have also been replaced or refurbished, with cleaned stonework and new, white, tiling.

The fountain was opened in November 1977 by Lord Mountbatten. But despite its popularity as a meeting point, it suffered from littering, and soap suds being poured into its water.

And in 2003, the council considered demolishing and removing it, though the idea was later withdrawn.

But its water was turned off, to prevent repeats of the incidents.

The new fountain, with water turned on, will be opened at 11am, by the council’s leader for regeneration, Councillor Mike Hancock.

Terry Carter, secretary of the Portsmouth Society, said: ‘We’re glad the fountain is being cared for, and we hope citizens will appreciate it as a refreshing and attractive item on Commercial Road.’