New-look Leicester Square reopens


After months of disruption, the capital's Leicester Square is being reopened tomorrow to show off its £15.3 million makeover.

The square is famous for its film premieres, but many were held at other cinemas across London while construction work took place over the past 17 months.

The mayor of London described the square as a "beacon for world premieres and stars of the silver screen".

He said: "This fantastic makeover is an integral part of the legacy that London 2012 will bring, helping to rid the square of the blight of anti-social behaviour and creating a must-see destination for the thousands of people who visit each day."

The new-look Leicester Square has 12,000 square metres of granite paving, stainless steel railings and a water feature that sends jets of recycled water two metres into the air around the Shakespeare statue. The square's trees have been fitted with uplighters to make visitors feel safe at night.

Robert Davis, deputy leader of Westminster City Council, said: "Leicester Square has long been an international destination for red-carpet film premieres, as well as a central meeting place for people visiting the West End's wealth of theatre, restaurants and bars.

"This ambitious regeneration project has breathed new life into the square and has given it a vibrant new feel which is more in keeping with its international reputation.

"Central London deserves a state-of-the-art cultural destination, particularly in this Olympic year, and we hope Londoners and visitors alike will be impressed with the results."

Mayor Boris Johnson will open the square tomorrow night, launching a five-day programme of events to celebrate the renovation.