Great shops and year-round events: What people want at the Piece Hall

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People want great shops and year-round events as part of the Piece Hall redevelopment in Halifax.

They also want the existing cobbles to be re-used in the scheme.

The findings come from council consultation that took in 2,355 responses as part of a £7 million bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund .

The main priority for people is a range of independent shops and businesses. They are rated “very important” or “fairly important” by 97 per cent of people.

Restaurants/cafes (94.6 per cent) and the need for a programme of events throughout the year (94.10 per cent) were the only other areas to feature in more than 90 per cent of responses.

However, reusing the existing cobbles – which are not an original feature – was rated important by 89.7 per cent.

Members of the public were asked for their opinion on 12 key proposals for the scheme. Council plans for a fourth entrance to be added to the Piece Hall have fallen flat, with just over a quarter (26.7 per cent) of people responding favourably to the suggestion.

Director for communities Robin Tuddenham, who is leading the redevelopment project, said the council was taking notice and the fourth entrance had been scrapped.

Two other proposals were rated important in more than 85 per cent of responses – these were improved access to the upper floors (88.1 per cent) and opportunities to learn about the history of the Piece Hall (86.8 per cent).

Plans shown to the Courier reveal 21 updated retail units on the middle floor of the historic building and 21 creative industry office units on the top floor.

Mr Tuddenham said the units would be state-of-the-art, with improved wiring, heating and general improvements to the state of the building.

“It will be competitive financially for businesses,” he said. “Why would they not want to be part of this fantastic one-off development of a unique building?”

The ground floor will showcase the history of Piece Hall with the Heritage Interpretation Centre alongside a restaurant and cafes.

An additional cornerstone building will be added, housing conference rooms.

This consultation completed stage C of the bid process and the final stage sees fine tuning before the bid is submitted to the Lottery Fund in March.

A final decision will be made in July – and if successful, work should start next year.