GUITARIST and songwriter Mick Ronson is to be finally given a “fitting tribute” in his home city.
Hull Council will today unveil £12.7m improvements to key parts of the city centre, including a new central performance stage in Queens Gardens, in preparation for hosting City of Culture 2017. Fans have said the current memorial stage in the park to Ronson is an “insult to his name”.
Ronson, who played guitar and wrote the arrangements for albums including Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, together with Trevor Bolder, also from Hull, and Mick “Woody” Woodmansey, from Driffield, formed Bowie’s influential backing band Spiders from Mars in the early 1970s.
Plans, which the council says will increase retail turnover by almost £70m, and support more than 500 new jobs in retail and tourism, include lighting buildings at night from Queen Victoria Square to the Fruit Market, putting street-level fountains in Queen Victoria Square and covering sunken Beverley Gate in glass.
Queens Gardens will be reinstated to its original 1920s design and as well as the central stage, there will be a removable stage over the pond for events and festivals and plug-in points for performers round the park.
Those behind the plans, which could eventually see a total investment of £25m, say quality will be key, with York stone, granite and hardwood used throughout.
Coun Martin Mancey, one of the cabinet members responsible for the investment, said: “It is essential that Hull presents itself as an attractive place both to invest and visit. The city centre will inevitably feature in much media coverage and marketing activities and these proposed improvements to the public realm will be a highly visible statement of Hull’s ambitions.”
People will be able to comment at pop-up exhibitions later this summer.