First of this year's Winter Makers Markets brings Halifax's Piece Hall its busiest weekend yet

The Piece Hall in Halifax recorded its busiest weekend since it re-opened during the first Winter Makers Market last weekend.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:40 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 11:43 am
The Piece Hall is hosting another Winter Makers Market from tomorrow

A staggering 58,580 people visited the historic venue between Friday and Sunday - its highest footfall since opening again in 2017.

The Piece Hall team say figures for November so far suggest it is going to have been its busiest month in the last four years.

The venue’s last Christmas market in 2019 brought in 37,918 people.

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Nicky Chance-Thompson, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust, said: “The fact that we’ve had such an incredible weekend is testament to the hard work of our team since we reopened, as well as the resilience and determination of our wonderful independent retailers who have worked hard to help bring people back through our historic gates.

“The demand we have seen – which not only compares to but exceeds that of pre-pandemic levels – is another step forward in The Piece Hall’s growth trajectory since its transformation, and we can’t wait to share more exciting plans for the future.

“It also demonstrates the appetite that people have to get out and about again and support their local traders, particularly in the all-important run-up to Christmas.

"The festive shopping period is a big event in the calendar for many large retailers but we really encourage people to consider doing things a little differently this year and choosing to support independent retailers.”

Shelly Foster, who owns the Handmade Gift Shop in The Piece Hall, said last weekend was "amazing".

"I was four times as busy as usual on Saturday, we literally didn’t stop. It was like Christmas came early.

“Everyone seems to love to stay local now, which is brilliant for us. We stock the work of 67 Yorkshire crafters in this shop – they are all small independent business that we rely on – and they rely on us.

"We’ve taken all these fantastic things off the internet and put them in this one store, and people love it. We’ve got a great following. If we can take anything positive from the pandemic, it’s that people have realised just what they have right on their own doorsteps.”

Fellow Piece Hall trader John Fellows, who owns Mystical and Magical, said: "Seeing so many people out and about enjoying this amazing building - wandering around the market, visiting the shops, grabbing a bite to eat, riding the carousel - it's genuinely uplifting to see some normality and confidence returning at last. Unlike last year, it feels Christmassy! And we'll be here to do it all again this weekend."

Preparations are now underway for the second Winter Makers Market, which starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday.

The venue is also hosting a spectacular line-up of Christmas events, including music performances from the likes of the Buzzcocks, rapper Graft and Ibiza legend Ellie Sax, as well as comedy club nights and Christmas film showings.