Bell signals a new era for £19m Piece Hall

Artists view: On August 1, people will see for themselves
Artists view: On August 1, people will see for themselves

Yorkshire Day will be a red letter day for Halifax when a jewel in its crown - the Piece Hall - re-opens to the public after a major £19 million reworking.

When the Grade I listed building’s bell rings to mark the start of trading at 10am on Tuesday, August 1, it begins a new era for the beautiful 18th century building.

You choose: The public can suggest a community champion to ring the bell and start the Halls new era

You choose: The public can suggest a community champion to ring the bell and start the Halls new era

And the search is on to find a community champion to ring the bell, echoing the Piece Hall’s very first day of business in 1779 but this time at a place transformed to meet 21st century challenges.

To nominate an individual as bell-ringer, a short explanation of who is being nominated, their age and the reason they deserve to be chosen should be sent by email to competitions@thepiecehall.co.uk - the chosen person must be able to make their own way to the Piece Hall for 9.30am on August 1. Closing date for nominations is 5pm on Friday, July 21.

Those who want to be among the first to cross the building’s threshold should note gates will open around 9.30am. Once the bell has rung, the new shops and businesses will open for the first time and a day of family-friendly activities and entertainment begins.

Throughout the day, in addition to permanent new heritage spaces - The Piece Hall Story, The Map Room and The Traders’ Room - visitors can experience: actors portraying characters from Piece Hall history; children’s activities, including trails, crafts, giant weaving, a heritage challenge, and dressing up; a Victorian-style photographic display by Emma Mitchell who will also talk about her work; an exhibition from local artist-in-residence, Jake Attree, who has documented the transformation project; performances from local musicians and artists; and pop-up street food stalls.

An international programme of “Welcome” spectacular, free events will run over three weekends from August 18 to September 2.