Leeds & West Yorkshire

Delay to historic West Yorkshire hall's reopening

Piece Hall
Image caption The Piece Hall was closed for redevelopment in 2014

The reopening of a historic building in Halifax will be delayed due to problems with its £19m redevelopment.

The Piece Hall was set to open over the summer after a two year refurbishment.

However, the Labour leader of Calderdale Council Tim Swift, said the building "probably won't be fully open by Christmas".

Mr Smith said the delays were due to "some surprises", including the excavation of more than 200 bodies at the site.

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He cited other problems that had caused the delays, including the lack of original building plans and the complexity of repairing parts of the building's 250-year-old fabric.

"Certainly the costs will have gone up," he said

"There was a contingency built into the projects, so we're looking at what the overall picture will be."

Mr Smith said the council was in discussions with contractors about the additional costs of completing the work.

The Grade I listed building, which dates from 1779, was a trading centre for locally-woven cloth.

Redevelopment plans include a visitor and heritage centre, shops, restaurants, workspaces for creative businesses and a conference venue. The courtyard will also hold markets, festivals and concerts.

Calderdale Council has contributed £10m towards the work, with another £7m coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Additional funding was raised through a fundraising campaign.

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