80,000 visitors flock to the Piece Hall in its first week

Around 80,000 people visited Halifax Piece Hall in the first week following its re-opening on Yorkshire Day.

Following first day footfall of 22,799 - which far exceeded expectations - people just kept on coming to see the completed £19m renovation, and following the August 1 unveiling the Piece Hall Trust has been inundated with inquiries for businesses wanting to locate at the historic Grade I listed Georgian masterpiece, with others already signed up to join those which were ready to greet the public on the first day.

A spokesperson said: “We have been inundated with enquiries for businesses want to locate in the Piece Hall and are currently working through all the enquiries. The next batch of businesses will open in October.”

It is expected details about the autumn openings will be announced after the Welcome Weekend events through late August and September.

Both 3,000 each show ticketed events - the Saxophone Massive performance presented by jazz star Andy Sheppard with a host of sax players, which on the evening of Friday, August 18, heralds Welcome Weekend on August 19 and 20, and Transe Express: Enchanted Chandalier magical aerial show on the evening of September 1 and 2 - have sold out but 500 more Saxophone Massive tickets are likely to be released .

The first day impact was huge, said the spokesperson. “Tenants were very happy, with many needing to replenish stock. The impact on the town was huge – with cash machines running out of money, and many restaurants running out of food by the early afternoon. Our neighbour Eureka! children’s museum had their highest visitor numbers for a summer holiday day since a very wet bank holiday Monday back in 2015,” she said.

Around 80,000 visitors came through the gates of the Piece Hall in its first week since re-opening

Around 80,000 visitors came through the gates of the Piece Hall in its first week since re-opening

In the first week 10,000 maps and 50,000 Welcome brochures - which were supposed to last the summer - were picked up, necessitating a reprint, while 300 people came on guided heritage tours and 500 children were engaged in heritage and learning activities.