Roll up, roll up, local community champion sought to mark a new era for The Piece Hall

Piece Hall courtyard

When The Piece Hall reopens on 1st August, the fascinating history of the monumental Grade I Listed structure will be brought vividly to life with an imaginative range of activities. The Piece Hall Trust is searching for a local community champion to play an important part in the Yorkshire Day celebrations, to ring the bell echoing the first ever day of business in 1779 and heralding a significant new chapter for the magnificent Georgian structure.

Unlike most of the beautiful Georgian buildings that remain today, The Piece Hall tells the story of working people, rather than the aristocracy or nobility.  In celebration of its heritage, The Piece Hall Trust, the charity that will run the transformed cultural and leisure destination, is calling on the public to nominate a deserving individual who will be proud to ring the newly restored bell for the first time to signal the start of trading once more.

The first of August will be the first chance for local people to explore the stunning building with its redesigned new piazza and state-of-the-art heritage interpretation spaces. Everyone is invited to the Yorkshire Day celebrations and visitors keen to be amongst the first to cross the threshold should gather outside the gates, which will open around 9.30am. When the bell rings at 10am, the new shops and businesses will open their doors for the first time and a day of family-friendly activities and entertainment, will begin.

Nicky Chance Thompson, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust said:

The Piece Hall is a much-loved building here in Halifax and we wanted to welcome local people first, to see for themselves the work that has been undertaken to transform this major piece of our heritage into a stunning part of our future.  Our Yorkshire Day event is all about giving the building back to the people after being closed for so long.

There will be lots to do on the opening day with a free festival of events featuring local, regional and international artists kicking off in mid-August and running throughout the summer. But, as the building itself is so special, we wanted to give people the chance to see and explore the transformed Piece Hall before the major events start.

Throughout the day, in addition to permanent new heritage spaces, The Piece Hall Story, The Map Room and The Traders’ Room, visitors will have the opportunity to experience:-

  • Actors portraying some of the characters from The Piece Hall’s history
  • Children’s activities, including trails, crafts, giant weaving, a heritage challenge, dressing up
  • Victorian-style photographic display by Emma Mitchell who will be on hand to talk about her work.
  • An exhibition from local artist, Jake Attree, The Piece Hall’s artist-in-residence who has documented the transformation project
  • Performances from local musicians and artists
  • Pop up street food stalls

Leader of Calderdale Council, Cllr Tim Swift said:

The Piece Hall is a very special building, one of the real icons of Halifax and of Yorkshire.  I’m delighted we’ve had the opportunity as a Council to invest in the transformation which will help preserve this beautiful Grade I listed building for the enjoyment of future generations.

Thanks to The Piece Hall Trust the building has a sustainable future, with an exciting range of shops, cafes and bars and a cultural programme which will keep tempting people back.

To nominate an individual as bell-ringer, a short explanation of who is being nominated, their age and the reason they deserve to be chosen to ring the bell should be sent by email to The chosen person must be able to make their own way to The Piece Hall for 9.30am on 1st August. Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Friday 21 July, 2017.

An international programme of large-scale, spectacular, free weekend events, entitled ‘Welcome’, will run over three weekends from 18 August to 2 September. Supported by Arts Council England, tickets for these free events will be released in July. To be notified when tickets are on sale, sign up to The Piece Hall email newsletter via the website link).

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