Options are being considered to take the ultimate symbol of bustling, busy, 19th century Halifax and equip it to help drive the town forward into the heart of the 21st.
Calderdale Council has recently appointed IBI Group as lead consultant to produce a detailed feasibility study into the most effective ways to preserve and enhance Grade II listed Halifax Borough Market for future generations to use and enjoy.
But the views of Calderdale people will help shape the conclusions it reaches, and people are being encouraged to ask questions at drop-in sessions and urged to fill in and return questionnaires, electronically or in hard copy form. The study will consider options for bringing the residential properties - the famous “streets in the sky” - within the building back into use, how to maximise the market’s retail offer and how to enhance facilities available within and around the building.
Solutions should ensure the market gains maximum benefit from proposed transport infrastructure investment delivered as part of the West Yorkshire Plus Transport Fund, says the council.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, Coun Barry Collins, said: “Halifax Borough Market is a greatly valued asset and the council is investing in the future of this historic building, and looking at options for making the most of its facilities. As part of this, a consultation is currently taking place asking people what they think of the market at the moment and what they feel could be improved in the future.”
The council wants to hear the views from the people who use the market as shoppers or traders and also those who currently don’t - and what would encourage them to do so.
Consultation forms are available in the market at a pop-up stall and it should take around five minutes to complete one. Members of the consultancy team will also be available at the market to discuss the consultation on Friday, January 12, and Friday, February 9, from 10am to 1pm. You can also fill out the form online - log on to www.calderdale.gov.uk/markets for details of how to get involved.
Key questions which will be considered include improving and diversifying the town’s shopping offer, enhancing connections and links through the market and wider town centre, putting a focus on a part of the town that will benefit from investment, increasing the market’s appeal and realising the potential of the ‘streets in the sky’.
The latter are two hidden streets which in the past have provided 21 homes that line the east and west sides of Halifax Borough Market roof, part of the original design by architects Joseph and John Leeming when construction started in 1891, but now most have into ruin.