Shopping Centre plan for Halifax a step closer

Halifax Central Library and Northgate House.
Halifax Central Library and Northgate House.

A developer has been chosen to spearhead the £1.3m transformation of Northgate House into a new retail complex for Halifax.

The contract has been awarded to Leeds-based Oakapple Group after funding was secured by Calderdale Council from the Leeds City Region Local Growth Fund.

The firm will reveal its plans in Spring 2016 with work scheduled on the site in early to mid -2017.

Philip Taylor, Chairman of Oakapple Group said: “Everyone at the Oakapple Group is delighted to be working in partnership with Calderdale Council to deliver a high quality development for the town. We very much hope our scheme will add to and complement the developments in the centre of Halifax which have either already been completed or are on site at the moment.”

The development the Northgate site will be one of the final steps in an extensive redevelopment programme which has included the Broad Street Plaza, the opening of the Orangebox youth complex, the new Customer First Centre in Horton Street and the continuing work on the £19m transformation of the Piece Hall.

Some names suggested for the new shopping centre have included Primark and Next.

Oakapple has an impressive track record of multi-million pound office, retail and mixed-used projects across the UK.

This portfolio includes retail based schemes in locations such as Dewsbury and Glossop along with large medical centres in Bradford and Ossett.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Barry Collins said: “I’m delighted with this announcement, which is a major milestone in our plans for the regeneration of Halifax town centre.

“This is a key site within the town, linking the Piece Hall and Woolshops to the Broad Street Plaza complex.

“It’s essential that we continue to attract shoppers and visitors to the town centre, whether to enjoy the main high street chains or our excellent local independent shops.

“Oakapple will develop a site which is large enough to attract some of the country’s major retailers, which is vital if our high street is to thrive.

“It’s an exciting time - we’re seeing more development within the town centre now than I’ve seen for several decades.”

The redevelopment of Northgate House is part of an overall £1billion investment in the region from the Leeds City Region Growth Fund.

The £1.3million injection has been secured from the Local Growth Fund for the major infrastructure project and will be used to pay for the demolition of the Northgate House and the Central Library and Archive buildings and subsequent clearance of the site.

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP said: “I am delighted another project supported by the LEP’s Growth Deal has now progressed to start delivering our economic ambitions at a local and regional level.

“Investing in Halifax Town Centre is key to bringing about jobs and growth in the region and this important development opportunity can act as a catalyst for further investment and growth in the future.

“We look forward to continuing work with the Council and the new developers to strengthen the business offer in one of our region’s important towns.”