It is home to several large pieces of public art and the Mandela Gardens, and is the city's first new public square in over 60 years.
Opened in December 2000, it includes the main central square in front of the Civic Hall, a smaller space bordering Cookridge Street and a new garden and fountain area. Currently the city's newest theatre, the Carriageworks, is being built on the edge of the square with an expected completion date of Autumn 2005.
The square has hosted visits from Nelson Mandela, Meatloaf and the crew of HMS Ark Royal among others. For big events a large stage is constructed in the square, it is also the venue for big-screen TV events and the Ice Cube skating ring.
However, one local rumour continues to swirl around the square - does the site really include an underground nuclear bunker?
Posting on the BBC Leeds messageboard Rich Edwards says: "I've heard rumours and urban myths of everything from nuclear bunkers under the Civic Hall to a part-completed subway system abandoned in Victorian times"
See the article on Hidden Leeds on this website for an explanation of the 'subway'. As to rumours of bunkers under Millennium Square, a Leeds City Council spokesperson says:
"I have spoken with colleagues who were directly involved with the project and can report that none of us have any knowledge or came across any evidence of the presence of secret bunkers under the square when the construction works were carried out.
"The remains of the old swimming baths (located on the west side of Cookridge Street) and various old house cellars were exposed when the square was constructed and these were filled in as part of the works.
Also known as Oriental or Central baths, the Cookridge Street Baths were opened in 1867. Designed by Cuthbert Broderick for £13,000, the baths remained in use until finally closing in 1965 and being demolished in 1969. Broderick was also responsible for designing the Town Hall, Corn Exchange and Civic Theatre buildings.
|Public art in Millennium Square|
There is also a more recent reason why people may have heard of the existence of structures under the square. As the spokesperson explains.
"Underground changing rooms were built as part of the project and this might be causing the confusion. The changing areas were included to serve the demountable stage, normally located directly above them, and are to the north of Mandela Gardens with access to them via the circular and triangular shaped towers. Underground public toilets were also constructed to the north east of the square."
To see an article on Hidden Leeds or the square's sculptures, watch a 360 degree panorama, and the Millennium Square webcam use the links on the right-hand side of the page.