Piece Hall is wonderful and unique part of town

In today’s focus on the £16m transformation of the Piece Hall, director of Square Chapel Sally Martin looks at plans for the historic building next door

The proposed scheme for the Piece Hall is a hugely exciting prospect.

Calderdale Council has a wonderful vision for the future of Halifax and Square Chapel is delighted to be able to assist and support the realisation of this vision.

The Piece Hall is arguably one of the most important 18th century secular buildings in Britain.

As the last surviving cloth hall in the country it is historically of national interest.

The transformational plans being pursued by Calderdale Council should make the Piece Hall a nationwide attraction, because the state of the art learning and interpretation centre will tell its story vividly and clearly, and because the shops, restaurants and cafes will make it a fascinating destination in its own right.

Square Chapel’s proposed extension which will link Square Chapel and Piece Hall, both designed by Thomas Bradley, includes a second auditorium seating 100, which will be used for small scale, intimate performances, cinema and daytime activities such as workshops and rehearsals.

The focus however, will be a large foyer formed in the open space to the west of Square Chapel against the outer wall of the magnificent Piece Hall.

This space will house a café bar and box office along the exposed Piece Hall wall and will link into both the new and existing auditoria with level access throughout.

Eventually – when the time is right - there will be a direct link from Square Chapel’s new foyer extension into the lower level of Piece Hall.

The new plans for the Piece Hall will make it more user friendly and it will be easily accessible to the people of Halifax and Calderdale and suitable for a wide range of contemporary uses, it will be a feature that will be the envy of many other towns in the North of England.

I am inspired by the commitment and vision of Calderdale Council who are investing in this wonderful and unique piece of Halifax’s proud history and I have no doubt that it will lead to growth and regeneration of our town centre in years to come as visitors flock to drink in the amazing atmosphere, history, and sheer beauty of one of the most interesting and elegant buildings in Yorkshire.

I am sure that Thomas Bradley and the Halifax wool merchants and businessmen who put their hands in their pockets to pay for the construction of the Piece Hall in the 1770’s would be delighted and proud to see how much the place is loved, valued and appreciated by the people of Halifax almost two and a half centuries on.