More cash for Piece Hall plans

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ANOTHER £425,000 has had to be found by the council to push ahead plans to redevelop the Piece Hall.

Cabinet agreed to allocate cash from capital resources towards the £15.9 million project and its total contribution is now £2.2 million

The key part of the funding package from the Heritage Lottery Fund is time limited and has to be submitted by March 2012.

Money is being spent on specialist consultants to draw up the round two bid during the current changing financial circumstances.

“Since the round one bid was submitted, the funding climate has substantially changed,” said a report.

Yorkshire Forward which was a funding partner is no longer in operation and other funding sources are difficult to source.

“This means the funding strategy included as part of round one is being updated to enable the development to progress to the stage two submission.”

It is hoped with multi-million pound lottery backing the Piece Hall could be transformed by 2014. Plans include a vibrant town square, heritage attractions, shops, and events.

Council leader Janet Battye (Lib-Dem Calder) said it was important to recognise the significance of the project’s progression and timescale involved.

“We want everybody to know the council is fully committed to this substantial work,” she said.

Councillor Tim Swift (Lab, Town) said it was the biggest project affecting Halifax which was the council was pushing through and it was important councillors kept progress under review.

And, it was important to think of innovative ways to bring short-term uses into the Piece Hall going forward to help its traders.

The cabinet recommendation to release funding will now go to full council.

l Is the council right to provide the extra funding for the Piece Hall bid? Email yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk