Halifax - There’s so much happening here!

Latest image (23-01-12) of what the Piece Hall may look like if the HLF bid is successful.
Latest image (23-01-12) of what the Piece Hall may look like if the HLF bid is successful.

There’s a lot going on in Calderdale but do we appreciate the developments around us.

As the rest of the country slipped into recession and unemployment began to rise Calderdale was bucking the trend as work got underway on the fantastic Broad Street Plaza and this was the catalyst to a host of projects throughout Halifax.

A range of developments has seen around £100 million worth of investment in our town but do we really appreciate everything that’s going on?

Should we be showing more support as a community and makin gthe most of this investment to make Halifax a great place to live and work as well as a central destination for tourism in the north?

At the centre of the town’s growth is the Piece Hall. The iconic building which is the jewel in the Halifax crown is set for a £19 million overhaul. The Heritage Lottery Fund has invested in the scheme pledging £7 million in funding for the development which will create improved retail units, restaurants and cafes, plus a revamped central courtyard.

The work is due to be completed in 2015 and, as reported in the Courier last month, executive positions on the building’s development board are now coming into place.

It will be the heart of an area of Halifax that could be seen as the cultural quarter of the town. Eureka! The National Children’s Museum is already a well-known destination and the town hopes to build on that with the construction of a new library and developments at Orangebox and Square Chapel.

The proposed new £10 million library will be located close to Square Chapel within walking distance of the train station.

The £3.8 million Orangebox will be a centre for young people under 19 including a skate park, rehearsal studios, cafe and much more - providing real opportunities for youngsters in the area to do something productive with their spare time.

Meanwhile the £5 million Square Chapel expansion is set to bring improved access to the arts for all. The development will include a second auditorium, new changing rooms and improved bar facilities. This has been supported by a £3.9 million grant from the Arts Council. Proof that the powers that be see Halifax as a booming area with potential worth investing in but are we making enough of it ourselves?

Barry Collins said: “In recent times I do feel there has been a temptation to talk this town down when we should be doing the exact opposite.

“Halifax people love their town and community and we should be looking ahead to make the best place to work, shop and live in. I hope there is ample evidence the council is playing its part in that.

“The council is investing hundreds of thousands of pounds and thinks about how to meet the borrowing costs and wouldn’t put these schemes forward if we couldn’t afford them.

“It’s about investment for jobs, for economic opportunity, and as long as the council can afford these schemes why would we not look at investing in them?”

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