Waltham Forest Town Hall has reopened following the completion of a new square – larger than Trafalgar Square.

Dubbed ‘Fellowship Square’, the first scheme in a multi-stage regeneration of the Grade II-listed town hall, has opened to the public.

Centred around a new fountain – said to be more sustainable than the original water feature – the square, named in tribute to borough-born designer William Morris, is vaunted by the council as a space “to bring the diverse communities of Waltham Forest back together in a shared space where they can reconnect with friends.”

The new water feature, designed by Churchman Thornhill Finch, has 144 individual jets, which can be programmed to move in time with music and have multi-coloured lights illuminating the water jets.

Cllr Clare Coghill, leader of the council, said: “I could not be more delighted and overjoyed to be able to welcome the most important guests of all to our opening events – our residents. We want Fellowship Square to be a place where residents feel welcome. It is so important that council buildings feel as if they are part of the fabric of the communities that it serves.

“As we come out of the pandemic with a renewed confidence we want this space to be a shared one, with all the communities that makeup Waltham Forest.”

The opening will be celebrated by a season of events between Saturday, July 17 and Saturday, August 14, with an array of music, comedy, poetry, art, crafts, food and fashion.

Cllr Coghill added: “The Fellowship Square project is inspired by the words of the legendary William Morris, who provided the quote that graces the front of the Assembly Hall to this day: ‘Fellowship is life, and the lack of fellowship is death.’

“When we welcomed 70,000 people to our opening show to our year as the first London Borough of Culture we knew then that creating a space for everyone to enjoy was essential – that ambition and energy has created Fellowship Square. The power of culture and space to bring people together and build a sense of pride and shared experience is key to any sense of community.

“85 per cent of the people of Waltham Forest participated during our year as London Borough of Culture, which shows that culture isn’t just preserved in central London but exists in every street and borough. Fellowship Square captures that spirit creating an exciting space for all to enjoy.”

Phase two of the wider redevelopment surrounding the town hall building has now commenced.

This includes approximately 500 new homes in the area, 50 per cent of which will be affordable and marketed to local residents as the priority, alongside new open spaces and for leisure, entertainment, and commercial spaces.