New look planned for Albion Street shops fronting Halifax's historic Borough Market
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Calderdale Council’s proposals to make the changes at Halifax Borough Market form part of £4.4 million Future High Street funding which includes revitalising the Grade II* listed building.
The money is being used to restore the Victorian façade and repair the roof, making the market hall warmer in winter, fixing leaks and letting in more light, among other improvements.
The council now wants to remove existing canopies, build a new entrance canopy, improve some features and replace eight shop fronts which its says will give the units fronting Albion Street their own, and more contemporary, look.
if listed building consent is given these latest changes will sweep away previous “improvements” on that side of the 127-year-old building which are now seen as detrimental.
Supporting statements with the application say: “The eight shop fronts to the Albion Street facade are currently a mix of styles, materials and finishes with differing awnings, shutters, and signage zones.
“The proposal is to unify these elements to create a clean and cohesive look to the Albion Street retail units.
“This will ensure they have an individual identity from other Borough Market external shop front such as units on Market Street and Southgate.”
Two key factors for new shop fronts, as fed back by traders, are security and ventilation, say the papers.
Ad hoc ventilation and security measures introduced by traders over the years will be replaced by a more cohesive look.
A new “four poster” steel and glass canopy will straddle and signpost the Albion Street entrance to the market.
The new shop fronts will have signage space and retractable awnings.
There are two proposed layouts for the replacement shopfronts, one with a fixed glazed section, as seen in the majority of existing shopfronts, and a shop front with an openable section, allowing traders to trade directly onto Albion Street, according to the supporting statements.
The type of shop front – open or closed – will be determined through further consultation with traders.
Albion Street was known for many years as ‘the fishmarket’ due to the number of fishmongers in the shops at the frontage of the Borough Market.
Some still remain although other types of businesses are now operating in the units.
Halifax Borough Market was officially opened in July 1896 by the Duke and Duchess of York, who later became King George V and Queen Mary.
Several steps have already been taken as part of a larger restoration programme of the indoor market while retaining the key features of the Victorian building,
A raft of improvements aimed at boosting the number of people using Halifax Borough Market began in 2022 including major roofing work, fixing leaks, and making the market warmer.
The work will also include improving entrances and routes inside the market, to make it easier to explore, and steps aimed at encouraging more events outside of market trading hours, including pop-up units and refurbished toilet facilities.
The Albion Street application papers – numbered 23/00306/LBC – can be viewed on the council’s Planning Portal.