Eight out of 10 say The Piece Hall is boosting our towns

The Piece Hall in Halifax
The Piece Hall in Halifax

The Piece Hall is the best thing about Halifax.

That’s according to many of the people who responded to our Love Your Town survey which asked readers for their views on their hometowns.

And eight out of 10 of those who completed the survey feel that the revitalised historic building benefits Halifax and neighbouring towns.

Chief Executive Officer of The Piece Hall Nicky Chance-Thompson said she is delighted that residents are so proud of the area’s asset.

“It’s just incredible that the people of Halifax and Calderdale are proud of The Piece Hall and are saying that because that’s exactly how we want them to feel,” she said.

“The great success of The Piece Hall is down to the huge combined effort of so many. A great team, great board and the council and Heritage Lottery Fund who had a great vision.

“I would also like to thank our tenants and volunteers who work incredibly hard to make this a really special place.

“There’s a lot to be proud of already – our recent big gig weekend was just outstanding – and it makes us more determined to keep building on what we’re doing and creating more exciting reasons for the town and region to be proud of their Piece Hall.”

The Piece Hall opened in 1779 and is Britain’s last-surviving “cloth hall”. The galleries surrounding the courtyard originally housed more than 300 rooms where weavers sold lengths of woollen cloth.

After the industrial revolution, it spent nearly a century as a wholesale market before starting to house independent specialist shops.

The Piece Hall closed in January 2014 for a £19 million conservation and transformation programme carried out by Graham Construction with funding from Calderdale Council and £7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with additional support from Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation.

It re-opened on August 1, 2017 and is now operated by an independent body - The Piece Hall Trust.

Since its re-opening, the building has been nominated for and received a catalogue of prestigious awards.

Last month it hosted a series of big-name concerts over four days, which included performances from Elbow and Embrace, and saw 16,500 music-lovers pass through The Piece Hall gates.

Here's what the traders think:

Louise Beere, Bookseller at The Book Corner: “The Piece Hall is brilliant. We are really happy here.

“We’ve seen an increase in sales, year on year.

“People love it. They think it’s like being in Italy.”

She added that the increased interest in the area since the Anne Lister drama Gentleman Jack had been a massive boost for The Piece Hall.

Mark Richardson, Director of Loafers: "It’s a lovely spot. People from all over the UK absolutely love it.

“It’s somewhere that people really fall in love with and look forward to coming back to.”

Loafers is enjoying such success, it is preparing to expand to bigger premises on the ground floor of The Piece Hall.

Olivia Huson, Sales Assistant at Shop 4 Little Horrors, helps her mum Caroline who opened the shop in May.

“She is absolutely loving it in the the Piece Hall," she said.

“There’s a little community that she’s a part of and she feels really privileged to be part of it.

“People that have been from different areas say it’s really beautiful and special.”