Where £1.5m will be spent to boost culture and employment projects

Christmas event at the Piece Hall Halifax.
Christmas event at the Piece Hall Halifax.

Calderdale Council has secured £1.5 million from the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool, to help boost the local economy and increase the number of visitors to Calderdale from across the UK and overseas.

By pooling their business rates together, councils in the Leeds City Region can invest millions into projects supporting the area’s businesses and vibrant cultural life, as well as improving skills and creating job opportunities.

The Leeds City Region Business Rates Joint Committee has recently backed 20 projects. Calderdale Council was successful in its bids for funding for two major projects.

Councillor Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said: “We’re delighted to receive this funding, which will support Calderdale’s distinctive cultural attractions and build on the talent and enterprise of our communities. It contributes to the Vision2024 for Calderdale to be a thriving place where people want to live, work, visit and invest.”

A total of £496,301 has been secured to boost the Halifax and The Piece Hall visitor economy.

Since The Piece Hall reopened in August 2017 footfall has exceeded 2.4 million

The additional £496,301 from the Business Rates Pool will extend the Piece Hall's attraction by supporting eight major cultural events held in the Grade I listed building and in nearby cultural venues between September 2018 and September 2019.

The events will attract an estimated 440,000 visitors from across the UK and overseas for overnight stays and day trips, contributing an estimated £6.3 million to the Leeds City Region visitor economy.

Funded events will include:

Christmas at The Piece Hall – November-December 2018. The five-week winter festival will include a festive market and the return of the magnificent circus-style Spiegeltent, which will host another 24-day programme of family shows, live music, stand-up comedy and late-night cabaret, alongside seasonal street entertainment.

Further flagship events will be announced by The Piece Hall in due course.

The second project will aim to deliver inclusive growth in Calderdale with £1,003,626 being secured from the Business Rates Pool.

The funding will make it possible for the Council to build on its work with community organisations, local businesses and residents to help reduce poverty in Calderdale.

The three-year project will involve improving access to jobs, training, digital skills and health advice for people living in Park and Warley wards initially, where unemployment has increased the most in Calderdale.

The £1,003,626 from the Business Rates Pool will fund a range of activities, including:

Developing a local mentoring and support scheme to help those struggling to find work to match their skills.

Working with local businesses and schools to showcase opportunities for employment, training, apprenticeships and work experience.

Working with local GP surgeries to review support services which could help people with ill health overcome barriers to gain employment.

Offering adult learning taster courses on practical skills, including digital, to help local people engage in learning.

Identifying successful local entrepreneurs who can act as role models to encourage small and medium business start-ups.

Working with the interfaith community to engage young unemployed people in shaping skills and employment programmes.

The outcomes in the two pilot areas will be evaluated for potential rollout to other communities in the future.