New meets Old: The giant double arch above Old Street roundabout, the work of architect Patrick Davies, was officially opened yesterday with help from local dancers at the Central School of Ballet.

Their performance emphasised the graceful nature of the structure, which was

commissioned by a consortium of 13 public, private and voluntary sector partners and built to symbolise the Old Street area's regeneration.

The pounds 500,000 project also includes a major up-grading of the subway and its shopping concourse to make them safer and more welcoming. Upkeep of the roundabout and the Underground areas will be financed by income generated by advertising hoardings hung from the arches.

Plans for the Old Street arches were drawn up in 1992 and fundraising began in December of that year. Islington council said the project was unique 'not least in the size and complexity of the partnership that has brought it about.'

(Photograph omitted)