Work to transform the historic Piece Hall into a thriving visitor attraction has been given a major funding boost.
The Piece Hall Trust is delighted to announce that the Garfield Weston Foundation has made a significant contribution of £250,000 towards the transformation project.
Garfield Weston is a family-funded, grant-making trust which has been supporting UK charities for over 50 years. This valuable award will support the conservation of the Georgian Piece Hall in Halifax and the engagement of people in its history and exciting future at the centre of the community.
Garfield Weston’s investment complements the major award received from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012. It is testament to the importance of the Piece Hall and highlights the quality of the plans to transform the building for current and future generations.
The transformation project will connect people with the Piece Hall’s heritage, helping them to understand and enjoy its rich history. Originally built to support the trading of ‘pieces’ of cloth, it has been at the heart of commercial, civic and cultural life in the town for over 230 years and is the only surviving cloth hall in Britain. The building’s fascinating story will be told through interactive exhibits; displays including historical objects; a programme of school visits and an education centre for all ages.
The building work being carried out by GRAHAM Construction will include major improvements to visitor facilities, including modern granite seating, level access across the courtyard, customer lifts, enhanced lighting and a central space for heritage events, markets and activities.
Internal units will be upgraded to modern standards, providing high-quality retail and business locations to attract a mixture of shops, cafés, restaurants and commercial tenants. Companies with a strong regional presence, as well as small, independent and creative businesses, are among those expected to be based there, creating local jobs and a vibrant experience for visitors.
Chair of the Piece Hall Trust, Wayne Bowser, said:
“We are very grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation for this wonderful grant, and we thank them for supporting such an important heritage scheme in the north of England. We believe that the Piece Hall from 2016 will bring the history of the building and the area to life for many more people and will further enhance this historically significant town. The grant will go towards making the Piece Hall and Halifax essential tourist destinations for 2016 and beyond.”
Calderdale Council’s Leader, Cllr Stephen Baines, said:
“It’s great news that the Piece Hall Trust has received a grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation, and we’re pleased to have supported its bid. The Piece Hall plays a major part in the area’s rich history, so it’s important to connect people with its heritage. It is equally important to give them a modern, exciting place that they want to keep visiting in the future. We are confident that the Piece Hall Trust will achieve this, and the generous Garfield Weston grant will be of great benefit to the project.”
Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, Philippa Charles, said:
“We are delighted to support the transformation of such an important space in Halifax and look forward to it bringing a wide range of benefits to the local community.”