Letter: Piece Hall is such a missed opportunity

Piece Hall, Halifax
Piece Hall, Halifax

How I agree with Ruth Moorhouse (Too much cash on wrong ideas - Halifax Courier, April 27).

On recent evening visits to the Piece Hall I am simply sickened at the total lack of any kind of ambience in the place.

This wonderful structure resembling an Italian piazza (to see it at night is a joy) is totally lacking in atmosphere.

It’s simply heart-breaking to go there and see a mere scattering of people when in fact the place should be the heart of the town and buzzing with life.

The gin bar and Elder’s restaurant are very nice but cannot be expected to ‘carry’ the place, and unless other bars and eateries open, and soon, I am afraid this multi million pound venture will sadly revert to its former days a ‘white elephant’.

Almost a year on and as Ruth Moorhouse observed only half of the shops are taken.

Could it be that the rents are prohibitive? One hears constantly ‘It’s dead there’s no one in there’.

What a disappointment!

Many years ago Halifax had two thriving weekly markets.

How could the people responsible for the commercial side of things in the town allow them to be dropped, just phased out?

You only have to look at other market towns in the area, ie Skipton, Brighouse, Huddersfield to name just a few, all thriving busy market towns.

Skipton has coachloads of tourists coming from various parts of the country, and it does not even have our stunning Piece Hall, Square Chapel, or our wonderful historical 19th century Borough Market.

Just imagine the potential for Halifax having those places, plus the outdoor markets in the Piece Hall - what a totally missed opportunity.

Think back to the day the Piece Hall re-opened, people came from all over by car, bus, and train, the banks (ATMs) ran out of money, the hotels were busy, the restaurants were full with people queuing up to eat, the town was simply buzzing. What happened?

Sadly it would appear that the people in charge of the project simply have little idea of how to get this commercial venture back on track.

Pop-up markets in the streets occasionally are nice, but for goodness sake let’s get our weekly markets back and get the coachloads of tourists visiting.

Might I suggest that the people of Halifax petition for this, otherwise the whole project multi millions later will have been somewhat of a damp squib.