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Sustainable Future For Halifax Piece Hall

Piece Hall, Halifax

Calderdale Council’s plans to transform the Piece Hall have taken a major step forward with the appointment of three specialist companies.

LDN Architects, based in Edinburgh, has emerged from a field of nearly 40 companies to produce the vision of the Piece Hall of the future. LDN has extensive experience in working with listed buildings and in transforming them sensitively into thriving places to visit and enjoy.

Mark Hopton, partner at LDN responsible for the Piece Hall project, says:

“Buildings like the Piece Hall create a unique sense of place and identity that help us define who we are and influence our community and cultural life. The Piece Hall’s beautifully proportioned arcades also contain one of the most remarkable public squares in the UK but it is a space that is sadly underused at present. The challenge for the project team is therefore to conserve and sympathetically adapt the historic buildings to new uses that are sustainable in the long term whilst transforming the courtyard into the world-class square that it should be. We are delighted to be involved in such a nationally significant project.”

Working closely with LDN Architects will be business planners L&R Consulting and, leading the heritage interpretation and activity planning, Wafer Hadley.

L&R will be working to give the Piece Hall a truly sustainable future, advising on the sorts of businesses and events we can expect to attract to the site, and how it will be managed in the future.

Wafer Hadley’s role is to make sure that the Piece Hall becomes a world-class heritage attraction, and that the building can be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone who visits.

Councillor Barry Collins, Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, says:

“We have been through rigorous selection processes to make sure we get the very best advice and expertise for this ambitious project. The Piece Hall can and should be a major driving force for the economic regeneration of Halifax, and our partners at Yorkshire Forward are also supporting this crucial phase of development. We must make sure we understand fully how to make it financially sustainable in the long term, and make it a great place for residents, businesses and visitors.”

Councillor Pauline Nash, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Safer and Stronger Communities says:

“The experts we are bringing on board will be talking in detail to the people who care passionately for this iconic building and see its enormous potential. The Piece Hall has been acknowledged as one of the most important public squares in the country. It played a key role in our past, is home to businesses, events and as a gathering place for local people in our present, and will be all this and so much more in the future.”

In March, Calderdale Council was awarded £239,700 in development funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to work up plans for the project, which is expected to cost approximately £16m. In November 2011, the Council will submit a detailed Stage Two bid to HLF.

If successful, the Council plans to transform the Piece Hall into a vibrant European-style piazza in keeping with the Hall’s 18th Century Italian architecture. A space will also be created to explain the important role that the Hall has played in Yorkshire’s history. The Piece Hall will continue to be a destination for shoppers wanting highly individual shops, and hi-tech and creative businesses will use the Piece Hall as a unique location in which to base their companies.

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