Ambitious plans to breathe new life into Halifax’s Grade II* listed Victorian Borough Market are being developed by Calderdale Council.
Following a public consultation earlier this year, the Council is considering a range of options which could include Sunday trading, later opening hours and night-time trading, to attract regular and new visitors to the market.
The plans cover further investment and restoration of the building, which is now over 120 years old, but will also seek to improve the facilities within the market hall, for both shoppers and traders, whilst retaining the distinctive character of this unique building.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Cllr Barry Collins said:
“The Borough Market has served Halifax well for more than one hundred years. In the heart of our community it has so much to offer, with a wide range of new and traditional market stalls, some of which have been in the same family for generations.
“It’s now time that we reinvest in the market, as one of the major assets within the town, currently employing 350 people in around 120 businesses. It’s vital that it continues to provide such a valuable service to the community for the next hundred years.
“The market has huge potential which could bring significant economic benefits to the town. We have a real opportunity to try something different, such as trialling pop up stalls and extending opening hours with evening entertainment so that it becomes a place for people to visit and linger. We’re also keen to encourage talented young entrepreneurs to try their hand at stall holding, so that we build the next generation of market traders.”
Alongside plans to entice visitors and shoppers into the market, a programme of improvements is also taking shape, to restore the Victorian building to its former glory, with the addition of 21st century facilities.
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.
Work will begin shortly to clear stalls in the Albany Arcade section of the market hall, to create a flexible space which can be used for entertainment; to provide additional seating; for pop up stalls or even for start-up businesses.
Over £500,000 will be invested in the next phase of the roof refurbishment, which will begin in September 2018 and will cover the entire Market Street façade. The first phase of the roof refurbishment, over the north east quarter of the market hall was completed in Spring 2017, flooding that section of the market with natural light. A third phase of refurbishment, which will cover the Albany Arcade roof is on the work plan for 2019.
Although many original elements of the roof still exist, unfortunately many of these need repairing or replacing. All broken panes of glass in the roof lights will be replaced and gullies will be cleared and reinstated where necessary.
The restoration of eight pairs of the original gates, is well underway and should be completed by the end of August. The gates, which have been used to secure the market since it first opened in 1896, have been removed, cleaned and repainted using specialist paints in a colour scheme agreed by Historic England.
The work is being completed by specialist contractors, TOPP & Co. whose previous projects include the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the Piece Hall gates.
The Council is also investigating opportunities to bring the unique ‘Streets in the Sky’ back into use and to open up the area around the clock so that visitors can enjoy the Victorian splendour of the market hall as it was originally intended.
The investment in Halifax Borough Market is part of Calderdale Council’s Next Chapter. For more information about these and other exciting developments in Calderdale, visit www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk(external link) or #cdalenextchapter on Twitter.
The Next Chapter is helping to form Calderdale’s Vision 2024. But where do we want to be by 2024? What’s our ambition and what will be different? Get involved with the debate on twitter with #VisionCdale2024 and find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/vision-2024