Halifax Central Library WILL be demolished

Halifax Town Hall protest
Halifax Town Hall protest

Councillors have finally confirmed that Halifax Central Library and Archives will be demolished and the site cleared for retail development.

A new building costing more than £9 million will be put up on the Square Church site beside the Piece Hall by the end of 2015.

Objectors tried in vain to scupper the decision at Wednesday’s meeting of Calderdale Council, claiming that the new library would be a waste of money and far less accessible.

But Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors said that it would be better for jobs and the future of the town to use the site at Northgate for retail purposes.

It could also raise an extra £400,000 a year in business rates.

Conservative counncillors with the backing of Independents pressed for the existing building to be restored.

But the proposal by Coun Marcus Thompson (Con, Skircoat) was defeated by 31 votes to 17.

For members of the “Don’t Bulldoze Our Library” campaign it was a disappointing end to a three-year battle which saw members hold numerous demonstrations.

One of the organisers, David Glover, said: “Our campaign began in 2009 and since then, two consultations have taken place that have clearly demonstrated that people in Calderdale do not want this change; however these and a second petition and a DBOL flyer signed by 3,461 people have all been ignored by the council, which has used a single strand of the findings of the recent consultation by Ipsos MORI to falsely claim a mandate to justify demolition.”

Designs are still to be finalised and planning permission sought.