Arts Council England
The Piece Hall reopens as part of Halifax’s cultural renaissance
Something really exciting is happening in Halifax. Both the local community and visitors will soon be able to take part in arts and cultural activity in a new cultural quarter in the town.
Celebrating Yorkshire Day in style, The Piece Hall reopened on 1 August to the sound of a bell rung by Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft MBE. Dating back to 1779, the unique Grade I listed Georgian cloth hall is the only remaining building of its kind in the country and, following a £19 million redevelopment, it has now reopened as a cultural and heritage destination alongside independent bars, shops and cafés. One of the main supporters of the restoration is the Heritage Lottery Fund which awarded £7 million of National Lottery income.
As part of the launch, The Piece Hall is hosting Welcome a free festival-style celebration of culture funded by the Arts Council through our National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme with an award of £85,000. Highlights include Architects of Air’s Albesila, a giant extraordinary inflated sculpture in which visitors are invited to immerse themselves in a vivid world of colour, and a magical high-flying aerial spectacle, Enchanted Chandelier, by award-winning French company, Transe Express.
Another of the projects, Landlines and Watermarks (29 September-1 October), supported through our National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme with an award of £145,000, tells the story of a place and a people shaped by water. A creative response to the devastating floods that swept through the Calder Valley in December 2015, it explores resilience, response and recovery and includes Calderdale: A People’s Opera.
Pete Massey, Director North, Arts Council England commented:
Arts Council England is incredibly excited about the cultural renaissance that is currently happening in Halifax.
The Arts Council wants audiences to be able to enjoy and take part in cultural activities close to home. We recently awarded £150,000 in Cultural Destinations funding to the Halifax Culture Hub which will work with Visit Calderdale to develop new, ambitious and diverse cultural experiences for visitors and communities alike.
Next door to Piece Hall, Square Chapel’s £6.6 million capital redevelopment has also just opened. The arts centre has been transformed by the creation of a new extension and improved facilities including a new multi-purpose auditorium and boasts a newly commissioned piece of glass art created by architectural glass artist Sarah Galloway. The Arts Council supported this development with an award of £3,953,500 through our Capital programme.
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