While an ambitious programme of refurbishment takes place at Halifax Borough Market, serious thought is being given to shaping how it will do business in the future.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Markets Working Party discussed lettings with Markets Manager John Walker reporting on the vacation of tenants and tenancy application received for Halifax Borough Market and requested guidance from members on the type and location of tenancy they preferred for the different zones within the market.
Members’ discussion included whether vacant stalls should be replaced to tenants on a “like for like” basis and whether stalls should attract the same charge of if a premium should be added if they were situated in a prime location.
They discussed whether a policy on the balance and location of trades within the market should be developed and agreed Mr Walker should be requested to develop such a policy.
In terms of the capital works being carried out at Halifax Borough Market, which is Grade II listed, members learned all designated stalls within the Albany Arcade had been vacated and removed with listed building consent being applied for to double glaze the roof.
They also heard the top side of the market was to be re-roofed and made watertight, and that roof repairs on the Market Street side of the market are nearing completion with scaffolding due to be removed in June.
An issue the working party will have to give thought to is funding proposed replacement of the toilets at the top of the market which has still to be sourced.
Members heard listed building consent for proposed alterations in the “Under The Clock” area were being prepared for submission and conversations on relocating tenants within this area were still ongoing.
Plans for relocating the Markets office were also ongoing.
In March, the council’s Cabinet agreed that refurbishment of Halifax Borough Market will move forward with a phased, priority led approach.
They heard bringing the market up to a modern state in terms of its heating, lighting, electrics, safety systems and refurbishing the famous “streets in the sky” – homes which are above it – will cost at least £8 million and a “gold standard” refurbishment recommended in a feasibility report would cost around £18 million.
But the council’s officers advised councillors all three of the feasibility report approaches had issues and the council did not have £18 million ready for the “gold” option.
Instead they suggested the alternative phased approach which was approved.
The goal is to purpose the market for the 21st century while retaining the best features of the original 19th century building.