Mystified by Piece Hall plans

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I am writing regarding the plans the council have for the proposed restoration in the Piece Hall Halifax. Having been on their website and seen the artist’s impression of the so called European style plaza they wish to create, I find myself baffled.

There seems to me little change in the appearance apart from the central water feature and a few steps! Will this really justify the £16m restoration plans.

As I read it, they wish to restore it to its original condition, which is an excellent idea so many more people can enjoy the beauty of the building for years to come. However, the building is at the moment just the bear bones of itself.

I imagine the court yard area is very close to the original from years past so why dig it up to replace it with something that will clearly be nothing like its origins. The building being a grade 1 listed Georgian masterpiece surely does not need anything more than a lick of paint in most places.

Could we please have a little thought on how the money could be spent better. For example covered seating areas in the court yard like the one in Westgate, so people can enjoy in all weathers.

More small businesses like arts and craft shops selling things we can’t buy in the high street. Its peaceful and quiet atmosphere at present is a blessing in this age where we hardly find time to stop and think but its sometimes too quiet and the size creates an intimidating atmosphere. Why not add a little background music to cut through the silence.

Can a little thought be spent on improving the approaches, to attract tourists and local customers in to the Piece Hall for its the people that will help to build its reputation into a national centre of attraction rather than a water feature. European plazas are full of people talking, eating and enjoying the life.

Could the area around the Square Chapel, church spire and former Industrial museum be utilised better for this is the first impression of Halifax tourists see when arriving by train.

I remember saying to myself a few years ago ‘Why do I want to go in the Piece Hall, there is nothing in there!’. Now I feel there is even less so it’s time to forget water features and the such and concentrate on what people want and need - ‘An incredible atmosphere and more choice of shops’ and the Piece Hall is the place for this.

So come on, let’s have a little thought about the people for a change, for we and our well-being are the most important thing in this life, not trying to copy the continental countries. Create our own identity not follow others.

Chris Smith