Piece Hall and Calderdale Council bosses respond to £850,000 operating loss

The Piece Hall in Halifax
The Piece Hall in Halifax

Bosses at the Piece Hall and Calderdale Council have responded to loss the Grade I listed building has made in its first year.

Halifax's historic Piece Hall made a loss of £855,142 in its first year of operation and revealed daily costs of £5,000 per day to run in its first annual report and set of accounts.

It was anticipated by the Piece Hall Trust's trustees that the charity would make a deficit in its first year of opening to the public and for the subsequent few years.

However, says the trustees' report for 2017-18, this is larger than expected due to unforeseen one-off costs and increased ongoing fixed costs, together with the delay of opening tp the public until August 2017, which impacted on the ability to generate income.

READ MORE: Piece Hall makes £850,000 operating loss after huge £19m renovation

The Piece Hall Trust retains the backing of Calderdale Council going forward.

A spokesperson of behalf of both Calderdale Council and Halifax Piece Hall Trust said a deficit in the early days was anticipated and it would take time to build up business.

The business plan had been reviewed when it emerged that the deficit was larger than had been planned for and council and trust believed successes which had been achieved were building blocks on which benefits would be brought to Calderdale.

"It was always anticipated that the Trust would make a deficit in its early years as it builds up its business from re-opening The Piece Hall.

"Although the deficit last year was more than originally planned due to one-off costs, delays in opening some facilities and increased operational costs, a review of the business plan has been undertaken to take account of this moving forward," said the spokesperson.

"The Trust continues to have the support of the council in building upon the success to date of The Piece Hall as an internationally recognised cultural and heritage attraction which is already bringing wider benefits to the area."

The spokesperson said it was anticipated the remaining details over the lease would be ironed out soon and in itself this would improve the financial position.

"Signing of the lease between the Trust and the council was delayed to allow elements of the building work to be completed, but work is ongoing to agree the lease as soon as possible.

"The agreement of the lease will also improve the Balance Sheet position of the Trust," said the spokesperson.