THE first city centre green space to open in several decades has finally been unveiled in Leeds.
Sovereign Square includes raised lawns, water features, fountains and a rain garden and takes over the former pay and display car park at the old Queen’s Hall site.
The park is intended for office workers, residents and families and will soon have WiFi available in the seating area.
The water feature system includes mists, pools and water jets and will be illuminated with LED lights at night.
Leader of Leeds City Council, councillor Judith Blake, joined children from Carr Manor Primary School for the launch.
She said: “Sovereign Square is a wonderful breath of fresh air in a very densely-used, busy section of the city centre.
“You can actually feel yourself relax as you step into it.
“I am particularly pleased that we had the vision and dedication to both identify the need for Sovereign Square and see through making it a reality.
“The idea was initiated in a recession but the council has pursued it as a driver of development in the area.”
Andrew Price, from Re-form Landscape Architecture, said: “It’s fantastic to see our design for the first new city centre public space in Leeds for a generation brought to life.
“Our concept took inspiration from the history of the area and water is a major element, with a new fountain plaza linking to the River Aire through a 100m long water rill.
“This, alongside the undulating lawns, trees and seating, makes it a major destination space. Sovereign Square will set the standard for public realm design for years to come.”