As a shop tenant in The Piece Hall, I just wondered if the people of Halifax actually know that The Piece Hall is still open for business? The amount of times over the past few months people I know and have seen, have thought that the Piece Hall is now closed, is frightening.
This morning I have found out we are not having Christmas Markets, even though they were pencilled in earlier on in the year. We are however having a Christmas tree, but they are not sure if they can afford the lights for the tree. How pathetic. Is the budget really that low we cannot have a few lights on a tree? I totally understand if anywhere needs regeneration, it is Piece Hall. Hopefully it will regenerate it for generations to come,(although having an insight to how the council works, I won’t hold my breath). As a rate payer I am appalled at how the council have just now brushed we shop tenants to one side. Part of the proviso for the lottery funding was the council had to be seen to look after the existing tenants. It has now been confirmed we are all getting compensation, although the money due is nowhere near what my business could be worth. Also because of the lack of events and activity I have already lost more in takings than my compensation that is due is actually worth, and most of it will be paid out in redundancy to staff, so I am not going to get too excited about the little bit that hopefully will be left, that is providing I can afford to keep my business open until Christmas. I am instructed to qualify for compensation I have to remain open until then. The problem for me is if no one is coming through the gates, I struggle to make enough money to continue, and if I close I don’t qualify for my compensation. The council still employ staff to run the Piece Hall, attendants and office staff, I have got to know these people over the years and they at time have also been demoralised to the uncertainty of their future. However is it not that hard to continue to promote the building just a littlefor the now instead of all the artificial drawings we keep seeing in the Courier, to show what a wonderful future we are all going to have. The here and now is just has important to those who have kept the building going for the last two or three decades. Surely Christmas can’t be cancelled. Is it really that difficult to organise a few events for the festive season, just to bring a hopeful bit of life to a tired building, and a little bit of trade our way to help us get through a difficult time. Or do I just surrender, give in and comply, and let the council sit on their bottoms waiting and hoping that in three or four years’ time with a new generated Piece Hall that is to become, an Italian plaza, everything is going to be fine and dandy? To be brutally honest it is like a kick in the ribs. A few of us have worked so hard to keep Piece Hall up and running through good and bad times, and we are still here, but now it has come to the crunch, we are just kicked to one side as an hindrance to those who want to move on to bigger and better things, and I do wish the council good luck, because boy are they going to need it. But a little help to promote us through a very difficult time would have been far more welcoming for the end to our era.
Cappuccino Café, Piece Hall, Halifax