Candidate: The Piece Hall
Location: Halifax, England
Category: The Great Place Award
Changing perceptions and boosting local confidence
The Piece Hall regeneration project has harnessed a unique and underutilised asset, boosting local confidence, which has changed perceptions of Halifax and the wider Calder Valley, making people less likely to leave and more likely to return. To quote the local MP, the project has ‘given the town its swagger back’.
Strong leadership and governance from an independent trust
The Council recognised it did not have the skillset to develop the new vision for the Piece Hall and established an independent trust to deliver the vision in partnership with the local Council acting as a facilitator.
A highly successful example of heritage regeneration
This unique historic asset has been successfully repurposed for contemporary uses to meet modern aspirations and expectations. The resulting mix of uses, vitality and vibrancy which have been achieved offers important messages for town centres elsewhere.
Curation of the space
The trust carefully curates the Piece Hall’s offer, effectively balancing and managing competing interests, guided by the ethos of ‘Be creative, be bold, but don’t be greedy’. The mix of uses and intensity of events within the space allow the outstanding qualities of public space and architecture to be expressed. This contrasts with other past finalists in the Great Places category, e.g., Roald Dahl Plas, Cardiff and Old Town Square, Nottingham where the intensity of event programming has impacted upon the spaces.