The Piece Hall Trust outlines its vision for the future

Wayne Bowser, chairman of the Piece Hall Trust
Wayne Bowser, chairman of the Piece Hall Trust

The trust charged with running the Piece Hall when it reopens next year outlined its vision for the historic landmark at a public meeting held at the Orangebox last night.

The Piece Hall is currently in the process of a £20 million refurbishment that will transform it into a thriving town square and focal point for visitors to Halifax.

Wayne Bowser, chair of the Piece Hall Trust, said: “The central theme for the board is that the Piece Hall is a meeting place - whether that be families, grandmas, school parties, bringing people together for concerts and celebrations.

“We want it to be a place that the people of Halifax and the wider region come together, meet and enjoy themselves.”

Refurbishments have been made possible by £10 million funding from Calderdale Council and £8 million from the Heritage Lottery fund.

A further £2 million is being sought from other funding bodies, but Mr Bowser said once the Piece Hall is reopened it will be able to sustain itself as a business.

He said: “It’s incumbent upon this board to make sure that what we have becomes a commercial and viable proposition.

“What’s really important is that we have regard to that £18 million of public money that’s being committed on behalf of the people of Halifax and Calderdale.

“We have to make sure that the Piece Hall can stand on its own feet and generate sufficient income to cover its costs and provide the services the public want.”

Mr Bowser outlined plans to open a heritage centre for the Piece Hall to give visitors the opportunity to find out more about the hall’s rich history.

The leader of Calderdale Council, Coun Tim Swift, said: “It was an enormously ambitious project when it was built and it became a focal point for the people of Halifax from the Victorian period onwards.

“Part of it is about saving the building, and part of it is about finding a viable long-term use which mixes the heritage with the public square feel of it.”

Coun Swift has said that previous tenants at the Piece Hall will be given first refusal on new units.