Council seeks contractor for Piece Hall and library

Calderdale's new central library and archive.
Calderdale's new central library and archive.
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A developer for the Piece Hall and Halifax’s new central library is being sought from across Europe by the council for a £25 million contract.

Calderdale Council today announced the process is under way to find a single main contractor to deliver both the transformation of the Piece Hall and build Halifax’s new central library to ensure best value and minimise disruption on-site during construction.

The contract will be advertised Europe-wide, in line with public sector rules on purchasing. The council will make sure, within these rules, that the project will bring social benefits to Calderdale, such as supporting local apprenticeships, and that the environmental impact of the project is kept to a minimum.

The multi-million pound development should provide a welcome boost to the local economy. The council is planning a supplier day so that local businesses can promote themselves to the successful contractor and find out more about the supply chain opportunities within this major regeneration of central Halifax.

“This is a significant milestone for the Piece Hall on its journey to become a world class heritage destination,” said council leader Tim Swift.

“The Piece Hall is unique and requires significant conservation and restoration experience, while the library will be an iconic, sustainable building and must deliver a first rate service for its users. It is essential we employ the right people with appropriate skills and experience to work on both of these prestigious buildings.”

The historic Grade 1 Listed Piece Hall will be restored and revitalised as part of £19 million scheme, backed with £7 million of funding from HLF, to create a 21st Century heritage visitor attraction.

The new Central Library and Archive has been designed to suit the varied needs of the community. The council says it will enhance the cultural quarter around the Piece Hall, providing a flexible and attractive environment to learn and socialise.

Councillor Stephen Baines, Conservative Group Leader said: “The transformation of the Piece Hall is a fantastic project and will bring so many benefits to Calderdale, for businesses, for visitors and for local people. It is a unique part of our heritage which is so important for our local economy. It’s vital that we continue to value and protect the Piece Hall, now and on behalf of future generations.”

Councillor Janet Battye, Liberal Democrat Group Leader added: “We’ve reached an exciting stage in the project. Once the main contractor is appointed we will soon see the plans becoming a reality. We are lucky to have such a beautiful building as the Piece Hall in the town and I am really looking forward to seeing how the new Central Library and Archive complements the area. This will be a Cultural Quarter to be proud of!”

The new Central Library and Archive will be wholly funded by the Council.

The Piece Hall and new Central Library and Archive projects, the Arts Council-funded extension at Square Chapel and the MyPlace Orangebox Young People’s Centre bring the total being invested in central Halifax to almost £40m.