Major company set to move into former Calderdale Council office at Northgate

Marketing of commercial space in a council refurbishment project is likely to gather space when a major employer occupies its office space, Calderdale councillors have been told.

By John Greenwood - Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 30th June 2022, 12:51 pm

Part of the former main council office at Northgate, Halifax, is being converted into office space which is being taken by insurance giant the RSA Group, who are expected to move in by the end of the summer.

The building also contains four commercial units as part of the multi-million pound conversion and negotiations are under way to let one of these.

Calderdale Council’s corporate lead for major projects, Rob Summerfield, said the authority was working on marketing the other three units over the next few months and this was expected to be successful once RSA’s staff were using their new office.

Northgate in Halifax

One of the aims of the Northgate project is to increase footfall into Halifax town centre.

An earlier part of the Northgate project, the creation of Calderdale’s sixth form centre, Trinity Sixth Form Academy, which is next door, had proved very successful, he told members of the council’s CAFM Asset Management Board, which oversees the council’s buildings and estate.

Opening to its first students in September 2020, it had been oversubscribed and around 730 young people were being educated there, more than 100 more than had been envisaged.

The trust was looking at ways in which more students could be accommodated, said Mr Summerfield.

As well as also increasing footfall an aim of establishing the centre was to offer Calderdale children the chance of studying at this type of establishment – for some years students had been going out of Calderdale to attend similar establishments including at Huddersfield, Burnley and Rochdale.

The commercial and college buildings used to be the council’s Northgate House offices and Central Library, the latter having moved to a new building next to the Piece Hall in Halifax and staff from the former being redeployed to other council buildings.

Other projects saw work to demolish and then build a new leisure centre at North Bridge, Halifax, getting under way and Future High Streets funded projects including Halifax Borough Market, particularly opening up the market hall for events and developing more sustainable retail, the Victoria Theatre, Halifax, and public realm works including a historic trail taking in Halifax town centre.

Coun Christine Prashad (Lib Dem, Greetland and Stainland) asked if plans for the market included the upper levels of the three-storey building, which dates back to the Victorian era.

Mr Summerfield said he presumed Coun Prashad meant the “streets in the sky” – two streets of houses hidden on the market roof, with a couple still lived in.

Restoration of these was challenging but not beyond the bounds of possibility if more High Streets funding became available, he said.