Multi-million pound work to transform the historic Piece Hall in Calderdale into a thriving visitor attraction has been given a major funding boost.

The Piece Hall Trust has revealed 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 and this money will support the conservation of the Georgian Piece Hall in Halifax.

Garfield Weston’s investment complements the major award received from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2012.

The Piece Hall in Halifax
The Piece Hall before the work
 

The total project cost is £19.2m. This is made up of a £7m contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund; £10.2m from Calderdale Council and the remaining £2m from a continued programme of fundraising. The grant from the Garfield Weston Foundation goes towards this £2m.

The aim of the transformation project is to 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 more than 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.

Shop 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 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.”