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Hull gets three new watering holes - and none of them are a pub

We have installed three eye-catching public drinking fountains in Hull in a drive to revitalise a Victorian tradition by improving access to free and fresh drinking water in the city centre.

The new landmarks have been designed to be permanent fixtures that can be enjoyed for years to come and can be found at King Edward Square, Queens Gardens and the newly revitalised marina as part of a city-wide trail. The drinking fountains are the latest water features to be added to the city following the incredible success of the fountains in Queen Victoria Square and the beautiful reflecting pools in Trinity Square.

As part of the unveiling, 3,000 specially designed refillable water bottles are being handed out today (Friday 1 September) at each of the fountains and at the welcome pod at Paragon Interchange.

Drinking fountains were first installed in Hull in 1858, even before London got them, to slake the thirst of workers and help prevent excessive trips to the ale-house. They were still popular well into the 1900s before all working-class houses started to get piped water. 

Duncan Macintyre, Yorkshire Water’s Project Advisor for Hull UK City of Culture 2017 said: “With its fishing heritage and numerous docks, Hull’s history has been heavily influenced by water and the sea and so we wanted to celebrate this by creating three new permanent spaces with water at their hearts for people to enjoy. From Friday, people will be able to bring their water bottle and fill it with free and refreshing water from these fountains. We hope the drinking fountains will capture the attention of those visiting the city centre and become popular rest stops for years to come.”

To support the unveiling of the new drinking fountains, a ‘City Oases Walks’ map is being made available at major attractions across the city. The circular routes are the perfect routes for exploring Hull’s historic city centre landmarks such as the Maritime Museum and the marina, that helped to define Hull’s rich history.

The routes are also ideal for runners, as they pass each of the new drinking fountains along the way, providing an opportunity to rehydrate for free. The fountains are also an attempt to help make the city welcoming and accessible to all and a place that everyone can enjoy, ensuring Hull is a place to work, live and play all year round.

Rosie Millard, chair of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, said: “All of our partners have shown a real commitment to helping transform the city and, as a principal partner, I’m sure Yorkshire Water’s new drinking fountains will stand as another lasting monument to this incredible year in the city’s history, along with providing people with a source of fresh clean water.” 

Councillor Martin Mancey, Portfolio Holder for economic investment, regeneration and planning at Hull City Council, said: “These new fountains are a fantastic addition to our brand new city centre, offering not only fresh drinking water, but helping to reduce litter from discarded bottles as well as promoting a free and healthy option for visitors to the city centre.

“As a sponsor of the UK City of Culture 2017, it’s great to see Yorkshire Water giving back to the people of Hull with these permanent new features.”

A Google maps version of the walks can also be followed on your phone via our City Oasis Walks webpage

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