Exciting plans to develop Halifax Borough Market will be discussed by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet.
A report on the future of the much loved market asks the Cabinet to approve the development of a regeneration programme to revitalise the beautiful and historic building.
The Grade II* listed covered market, which first opened in 1896, hosts over 84 stalls and 33 external shop around the external facades of the building.
The Council commissioned a feasibility study into the refurbishment of the Borough Market in August 2017. This provided an indication of the likely costs of updating the building, including improvements to the heating, lighting, electrical wiring, toilet facilities and restoring the ‘Streets in the Sky’.
The study also identified opportunities to broaden the appeal of the market, so that it becomes a place where people want to visit, work, shop, spend their leisure time and be entertained.
One idea is to develop the Market Arcade area as a food and drink venue. There are currently three vacant retail units within the arcade and these could be marketed to attract appropriate tenants.
The arcade would be able to remain open into the evening, operating with different trading hours to the rest of the market, so that it could encourage people to socialise after work or at the weekend.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Cllr Barry Collins said:
“Halifax Borough Market is one of our greatest heritage assets and it’s as distinctive and unique as the Piece Hall.
“The refurbishment of any listed heritage building of such a grand scale will be difficult, however there’s so much local affection and pride in the Borough Market that we must rise to the challenge.
“The market has the potential to inspire the next generation of talented market traders and to become a place that people want to visit, for their weekly shop, to enjoy a coffee or to eat good quality, freshly prepared food with friends.
“By taking a strategic approach and by continuing to improve the facilities in the building, I believe that the Borough Market will continue to flourish, serving our communities for many years ahead.”
If the report is agreed by the Cabinet a programme will be developed listing different refurbishment packages. Opportunities to bid for external funding can then be explored.
In the meantime the Council is investing £500,000 on roof works and improvements to the Market Street façade.
And work is due to begin shortly on opening up the area under the clock in the heart of the market hall. Digital laser scanning has been used to survey the base of the clock so that accurate designs can be drawn up.
The Council is planning to relocate the greengrocer and removing the stall which is currently built around the base to make a flexible space for seating and entertaining. This will create better views of the beautiful original clock and glazed lantern so that visitors can enjoy the Victorian splendour of the market hall as it was originally intended.
All the building work is being carefully planned to limit any disruption to traders and visitors to the market, so that business will continue as usual throughout.
The Cabinet will meet to discuss the report at 6pm on Monday 18 March 2019 at Halifax Town Hall.