Millennium Square (Leeds)
Millennium Square is a large city square in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It was Leeds' flagship project to mark the year 2000, and was jointly funded by Leeds City Council and the Millennium Commission. Total cost of production was £12m.
It is bordered by many of the city's most famous landmarks, including the Town Hall, Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Academy and Leeds College of Art. Millennium Square has become a focal point for events in the city centre of Leeds. The site has hosted performances such as outdoor theatre, concerts by bands including Embrace, Kaiser Chiefs, Meat Loaf, Snow Patrol, The Specials, Fall Out Boy and The Academy Is... operatic and orchestral performances, as well as civic ceremonies, fairs, markets and street entertainment. There is also a large BBC screen which shows major sporting events including Wimbledon, and football World Cups and European Championships which draw large crowds. On the first Sunday of August every year the Square is host to the first part of Leeds Pride and in winter each year a temporary ice rink, known as 'Ice Cube', is set up before being taken away in early spring. For the past few years during November & December, there has been a German Christmas Market selling Hot drinks & Foods, jewellery and textiles.
On April 30, 2001, the former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela appeared on stage in the square to open the adjoining Nelson Mandela Gardens and was given the Freedom of the City. He famously mis-acknowledged the crowd by saying how happy he was to be in Liverpool.
The garden which won an award for the Council at Chelsea in 2004 was re-created at the south of Millennium Square. It was seriously damaged in May 2008 by a mass water-fight organised over social networking sites.
- Herbert, Ian (2001-05-01). "Mandela vindicates `loony left' of Leeds for honouring struggle". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
- BBC News (2008-05-07). "Water fight damages public garden". Retrieved 2008-05-08.
- Leeds City Council's Millennium Square page
- Report of Mandela's visit, The Independent, May 1 2001
- Ice Cube website