Search is on for the district's best buildings

Dean Clough Mills
Dean Clough Mills

Heritage group Halifax Civic Trust has launched its annual search for the best new or restored buildings in the town.

The trust is on the lookout for high-quality new or converted buildings and other environmental improvements and will hand out awards for the best of them in May.

Halifax Civic Trust Awards have been made since 1992 and winning projects have included restored mills, shops and pubs and new schools, medical centres and housing.

Major schemes such as the former Halifax Building Society’s headquarters in Halifax town centre, the conversion of the old Royal Halifax Infirmary to flats and the restoration of Shibden Park have also been award winners.

But the trust is just as keen to know about smaller projects designed to high standards. Awards co-ordinator David Hanson explained: “The past year has seen a series of major schemes come to fruition in the town centre – from the renovation of the Piece Hall and the new extension to the Square Chapel Arts Centre to the opening of the new central library and the wholesale makeover of Princess Buildings as council offices.

“We will be looking at all these schemes – but we are also interested in smaller-scale projects that can turn out to be just as special.

“For example, in the past we have made award for new individual homes at Pye Nest and Skircoat Green, a new conservatory in Illingworth, a lavatory extension at a church, a 240-year-old sundial, a 16th-century stone plaque and even a moorland garden.”

Awards are made for schemes within Halifax Civic Trust’s area, that is the former County Borough of Halifax, from Luddenden in the west to Southowram in the east and from Copley in the south to Ogden in the north. Awards are usually given for work substantially carried out in the previous calendar year.

Last year’s award was for the £14 million renovation of the semi-derelict A and B mills at Dean Clough, Halifax, and conversion into offices for insurance firm Covea. The mills were built between 1841 and 1844 by carpet manufacturer John Crossley and Sons.

The main award each year is in the form of a green, oval plaque. Other winners receive commendation certificates. This year’s awards will be presented at the trust’s annual general meeting at Halifax Town Hall in May.

Anyone can nominate a scheme simply by contacting Mr Hanson on 01422 373038 or at david.hanson@jpress.co.uk The trust will then produce a shortlist of eligible entries and visit them before announcing the winners.