Doors close on Piece Hall for £19m refurb

Piece Hall traders said farewell to their units as the historic building closed its doors for the final time before work gets started on a £19 million refurbishment.

The council is set to appoint a contractor in April to deliver both the refurbished Piece Hall and the new central library by Spring 2016.

Gina Clarke outside her shop at the Piece Hall

Gina Clarke outside her shop at the Piece Hall

In the meantime Piece Hall traders have had to move out and find new premises.

Gina Clarke, who ran Gina B Glass in the Piece Hall for 34 years, was the last trader to pack up her shop and say goodbye.

“I have had tears for the last week,” she said.

“I really want to come back in this unit but to do that I don’t know why I have to dismantle 34 years work to then come back in 18 months.

“I’m left without a workshop and I have had to shift my huge kiln from the back.”

Ms Clarke is calling for transparency from the council during the redevelopment works and there is one feature she would like to see saved.

“I want people to be aware the cobbles are going. I’m not saying keep the Piece Hall exactly as it is but there needs to be some cobbles as an original feature,” she said.

“Once the doors are shut no one can see what’s happening They should have an open day once a month so the public can see what’s going on.”

A council spokesperson said: “This is a major project in itself, but alongside the work on the Piece Hall we will also be developing a fourth gate through the east wall leading to a new library for Calderdale.

“The council will be appointing one contractor to do all of this work, which means the work can be done more efficiently. The designs for the library and Piece Hall have to be fully co-ordinated to allow this to happen.

“Work will start on site for the Piece Hall and library at the end of May 2014 and the expected completion date for both projects is spring 2016.”