Leeds & West Yorkshire

Halifax's Piece Hall revamp brings £7m boost to local economy

Piece Hall, Halifax Image copyright PAul White
Image caption The Grade I-listed Piece Hall in the centre of Halifax was built in 1779

A renovated 18th Century cloth trading hall generates about £7m each year for the local economy, a report says.

The Piece Hall in Halifax, West Yorkshire, has had five million visitors in two years since a £22m renovation.

The Bradshaw Advisory independent report also found the shops in the building support 107 jobs.

One of the report's authors said the Grade I-listed site's positive impact on the area was "outstanding".

A third of the visitors to ticketed events at the hall were from outside Calderdale, it found.

At least £7m is generated annually by direct employment, events and retail activity at the site, the report found.

The study also estimates that a total of £26m has been added to the local economy indirectly since the cloth hall reopened in 2017.

Also, every £1 spent on operating Halifax's historic Piece Hall has generated at least £5.30 for the local economy.

The report has been compiled for The Piece Hall Trust using the same methods that the Treasury uses to appraise projects.

Image copyright Simon Dewhurst
Image caption The renovated building opened on 1 August, Yorkshire Day, in 2017

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Chris Walker, former Treasury economist and one of the report's authors, said: "The economic boost and positive impact the Piece Hall Trust has had on the local area is outstanding.

"The Treasury normally looks to get back £2 for every £1 spent. The Piece Hall is delivering more than double that while boosting local pride and providing space for independent businesses."

The Tour De Yorkshire, BBC's Antiques Roadshow and a concert by Elbow are among the events held in the central square.

However, the Piece Hall is costing far more to run than Calderdale Council initially forecasted in 2012, according to the report.

The trust would make an operating loss "for the foreseeable future" and would require additional financial support, it said.

It had an operating deficit of £855,000, according to its first annual report and accounts in March.

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