‘Great’ start for Piece Hall trade as landmark reopens

Piece Hall wardensPiece Hall wardens
Piece Hall wardens
Business chiefs at Halifax’s historical tourist spot the Piece Hall said the site’s reopening on Saturday has been ‘positive’.

Nicky Chance-Thompson, Piece Hall Trust chief executive, said the team behind the Grade I listed building have been working hard to support businesses within the popular tourist location, situated at the heart of Halifax’s town centre.

The Piece Hall has been closed to the public since March after being forced to shut due to Government lockdown amid coronavirus, but Mrs Chance-Thompson (circled) has praised organisations such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund for providing financial lifelines.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “It’s been challenging because we needed to secure emergency funding.

Piece Hall trust Chief Executive, Nicky Chance-ThompsonPiece Hall trust Chief Executive, Nicky Chance-Thompson
Piece Hall trust Chief Executive, Nicky Chance-Thompson

“The Piece Hall has been shut but the Trust still needed to pay for fixed costs, which have been provided by organisations such as the National Lottery.

“This money has allowed the Piece Hall to go into a state of hibernation.

“It was devastating when we had to close because we lost £300,000 over night, and without the emergency funding we would have had to close down.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Most of our stalls and shops are open, and it’s great to see our restaurants and bars open too such as the Trading Rooms and Gin Lane.

Social distancing at the Piece HallSocial distancing at the Piece Hall
Social distancing at the Piece Hall

“At this time, we’re only 90 percent open, but we hope to be fully operational by the end of July.”

For the upcoming weeks, the Piece Hall has introduced health and safety measures including one-way systems and sanitising stations within close proximity.

Traders at the Piece Hall have heaped their gratitude on the team behind the historical attraction.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Marcus Doyle at Yorkshire Soap, said: “We have eight shops throughout Yorkshire, but I’d like to thank the Piece Hall Trust for providing us with nearly four months rent-free space.

Eden Keshia at her shop Eden Keshia, The Piece HallEden Keshia at her shop Eden Keshia, The Piece Hall
Eden Keshia at her shop Eden Keshia, The Piece Hall

“Trading wise, since reopening on Saturday, we’ve done better than I thought we would.

“After everything the team at the Piece Hall have done for us, I think it’s going to be a successful summer ahead.”

Jewellery business owner, Leon Dewhurst said: “It’s going to take time for our businesses to really get back up to speed, but the Piece Hall is an iconic venue which brings customers in from all over the country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’ve been in a position during lockdown where I’m still able to communicate with my customers about jewellery making and repairs.”

Kevin Hathaway (left) and John Fellows at Mystical and MagicalKevin Hathaway (left) and John Fellows at Mystical and Magical
Kevin Hathaway (left) and John Fellows at Mystical and Magical

John Fellows, who runs Mystical & Magical, said: “It’s been a good restart.

“When we closed we didn’t know when, or if, we would ever reopen, which was unnerving.

“I would like to say that it’s not often businesses praise their landlords, but the support from the Piece Hall Trust has been fantastic.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Eden Keshia, who owns a design store within the Piece Hall, said: “It’s really positive to be reopening.

“For me personally, it’s great to get back to designing bespoke dresses, particularly bridal wear now weddings are allowed to go ahead.

“My partner Christian Scott also runs a hairdressers within the Piece Hall, so it’s going to be great to be able to work with others for collaborative projects.

“The future at the Piece Hall is exciting too after the venue will be hosting weddings going forward.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Aamir Yusuf, who owns Totally Awesome, said: “People are approaching our shops in a very sensible way.

“Staff are all shops within the Piece Hall have been great at advising customers of how to keep to the safety measures.”

During lockdown, Mr Yusuf opened a third Totally Awesome store in York, after also running a store in Hebden Bridge.

Mrs Chance-Thompson said: “People are happy to come back to the Piece Hall, which has become a safe place to shop and traders need customers more than ever, so come and support us.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.