A new chair has been appointed to lead the Piece Hall Trust as the multi-million pound transformation of the historic building nears completion,
Roger Marsh OBE will take the reins ahead of its grand reopening on Yorkshire Day - August 1 - this year.
Since 2013, Mr Marsh has been chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the public/private sector partnership promoting the Leeds City Region’s interests on a national and international scale.
He brings more than 30 years of business recovery, turnaround and insolvency experience to the role and in 2015, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for Services to Business and the Economy.
Mr Marsh will replace acting chair, Roger Harvey OBE, who will now take on the role of vice-chair, to head up the executive team which includes the newly-appointed chief executive, Nicky Chance Thompson.
He said: “The transformation of The Piece Hall is already attracting significant investment into Halifax and it has the potential to boost the economy across the whole of Calderdale and the wider region.
“I am incredibly excited at the prospect of working with the trustees and the executive team in shaping a dynamic and sustainable new era for a building that once was at the centre of the world’s woollen trade.
“The Piece Hall is a complete one-off and, like everyone that has ever walked through its gates, I have fallen in love with its dramatic grandeur and rustic beauty.
“We are incredibly lucky in Yorkshire to have retained such a significant legacy from our industrial heritage and I’m keen to see The Piece Hall once again play a major role in the economic growth and transformation of the whole region.”
Nicky Chance Thompson, The Piece Hall trustee and chief executive, said Mr Marsh’s calibre was a “terrific boost” for the team.
“Roger’s knowledge, experience and strong relationships will be invaluable in helping us to achieve our ambition to create a truly exceptional destination that benefits all who live locally and attracts visitors from far and wide,” she said.
“In the past few months, as we have been searching for the right person to take the role of chair, Roger Harvey, a trustee who has been with the project from the start, has been an energetic and warm acting chair.
“I am extremely grateful to Roger for taking on the additional responsibilities and supporting us as we prepare to run a fully operational Piece Hall.”
Funding from the National Lottery and Calderdale Council has made the transformation of the Piece Hall - which will include a state-of-the-art learning and interpretation centre, a new extension and a redesigned piazza, possible.
The first chance for the public to explore the building will be Yorkshire Day. On August 1 at 10am the bell will once again ring, echoing the first ever day of business in 1779 and heralding a new chapter for the magnificent Georgian structure.
To mark the reopening, a programme of free weekend events called ‘Welcome’, will kick off with Andy Sheppard’s Saxophone Massive on August 18 and close with French aerial spectacular The Enchanted Chandelier from Transe Express on September 2.