Campaign to work with Halifax businesses as £200m investment takes shape in town centre
A campaign has been launched that outlines the unprecedented investment in the town centre and the vital role people have in showing pride in Halifax.
Calderdale Council’s “Think you know Halifax” project details the £200m that will be spent over the next decade in the town centre.
Rob Summerfield, corporate lead for major projects at Calderdale Council, said the campaign looks closely how it can work with people to keep them informed about individual schemes and how they link together for the benefit of the town.
“We have been racking our brains on how we can improve awareness with what is happening within the town.” he said.
“When it relates to these big schemes they can often get lost despite putting out consultations and can come as a surprise to businesses and residents.
“We started this campaign to peak people’s interest.
“The key message is that this work is already happening.
“We started this already in our designs on many of the schemes.
“We really want people to get involved with their views and we want to get the information out there about the projects. It is also important that we make ourselves available to people and businesses if there is any disruption and try to minimise that.”
More than £200m is being invested in and round the town centre with just under 80 per cent of funding coming externally from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and central Government.
Projects include the completed Trinity Sixth Form Centre and Northgate House, which is nearing completion.
Work on transport and infrastructure is also taking place with the construction of a new bus station plus plans for a new railway station and changes to 11 road junctions around the eastern and western parts of the town centre.
Proposals for the new Halifax leisure centre and swimming pool are also being finalised.
The council’s cabinet member for regeneration and strategy, Coun Jane Scullion, said it was important to show that businesses and the town will still be open when work is being carried out.
“I see it as an old town, new town approach.
“It used to be the case you would put up a big hoarding saying please excuse us while this work is going on. But actually you have to do more,” said Coun Scullion.
“You don’t want people to be turned off by temporary inconvenience and stop visiting the town, you need to actually say look this is where we are going and you are part of this.
“It will be difficult and there will an intense period of works but we are going to work with businesses and people to keep the inconveniences to a minimum. In terms of people they are our champions - staff in shops, people who are shoppers or visitors and businesses.
“We need people to be our champions and say despite the disruption it really will be worth it because the town is going to be fantastically improved.
“This investment is a long time coming.”
Leader of Calderdale Council Tim Swift also stressed the importance of connecting the whole of the town from the new train station gateway all the way to the top of town.
“It is important for visitors to the Piece Hall that they see other parts of the town they can come back to,” said Coun Swift.
“This is a real opportunity to get the right balance to make Halifax a place for local people but also a place for people from outside to come and visit as well. All these projects will benefit all of us in terms of a thriving economy and a fun town centre for people to spend time in.”