Ambitious plans to transform Halifax town centre are a step closer thanks to the town being shortlisted for a multi-million pound regeneration fund.
Halifax is one of 50 areas picked for the next stage of the Future High Streets Fund - a £675 million project aimed at helping local leaders rejuventate their town centres.
If successful, Calderdale Council would use the cash to better connect the top of the town centre with the attractions at the bottom, such as The Piece Hall, library, Square Chapel and The Woolshops.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Councillor Jane Scullion, said: “The proposals will build on the success of our significant heritage assets and nurture the town’s growing cultural and music sectors by creating new attractive spaces for people to eat, meet and attend events throughout the town centre, increasing footfall and spend, particularly for businesses at the top end of town.”
She said the council will now receive up to £150,000 to work up detailed project proposals as well as further guidance from the government on the next steps of the funding process.
Although another bid for the fund which was focused on Elland town centre was not successful, the council is still committed to regeneration there and further bid for Elland in future rounds of the fund is possible.
As part of our Love Your Town campaign, the Courier reported in April how the council wanted to spread the ‘Piece Hall’ effect through Halifax. We have been asking readers what can be done to boost high streets across Calderdale and several have suggested that more should be done to attract people to shops and other businesses at the top of Halifax town centre.
Halifax’s MP Holly Lynch said: “I’m delighted that Halifax has made it through to the second phase. This is a real credit to everyone involved in the bid.”
She said the town needs to build on the popularity of existing gems like the Piece Hall and unlock the potential of assets like the Borough Market.
“It’s also a real priority for all of us that the top end of the town centre can benefit from future investments, looking at ways we can encourage people to visit the whole of the town centre, and stay for longer.”