Councillors to be urged to agree to continue funding Halifax's Piece Hall - but it is not known how much council will give

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Calderdale councillors will be asked to approve funding for Halifax’s Piece Hall – but we do not know yet how much they will give.

Senior councillors believe the council should support making a contribution to helping run the historic landmark.

But because Calderdale Council’s cabinet discussed the matter in a private session when it met, it has not been made public yet how much the council would give.

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Debates that include information relating to the financial or business affairs can be held in private.

The Piece HallThe Piece Hall
The Piece Hall

Following the meeting, leader of the council Coun Jane Scullion said members had agreed to recommend to a full meeting of the council that the authority should continue to make a financial contribution to The Piece Hall, which is run by The Piece Hall Trust.

The historic Grade I listed building was making a “significant” contribution to the wider Calderdale economy by bringing large numbers of visitors in, she said.

“This unique heritage and cultural asset gives a great deal of pleasure and pride to the people of Calderdale and beyond,” she added.

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Coun Scullion said if the recommended financial contribution to the Piece Hall is approved by the full council, the amount will be published by The Piece Hall Trust as part of its accounts reporting.

Councillor Jane ScullionCouncillor Jane Scullion
Councillor Jane Scullion

But she added: “Like at cabinet, the discussion of The Piece Hall funding at Full Council on Wednesday, July 26, will not be held in public due to commercial sensitivity.”

The trust, in its annual report for 2021-22, reported it was its most successful year since re-opening, with 90 per cent of its income now coming from the building’s own activities.

Of £4.6 million of income, Calderdale Council provided 10 per cent that year – described by trust chair Sir Roger Marsh as a “significant” shift from 2018, when almost half of its £1.6 million income – 44 per cent – was from council funding.

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But to keep the goal of being free to enter – and the report says many UK heritage landmarks of similar stature are not – the trust has said it will always likely require some public subsidy whether from the council or elsewhere.