The new era for a restored Halifax landmark got off to a flying start in 2017 - and by the end of 2018 the chair of The Piece Hall Trust is confident business space will be 100 per cent let.
Roger Marsh OBE said The Piece Hall’s August 1 opening following a major £19 million restoration amazed everyone.
“We thought that if 10,000 people walked through the gates when we reopened, it would be a good result. I don’t think anyone imagined that more than 22,000 people would visit The Piece Hall on that incredible day and we were amazed by the passion, support and ownership that local people felt for this wonderful building.
“It was a reminder – not that we needed it – that the trustees are custodians of something very special and that the really hard work, to make this a sustainable destination for the 22nd century, begins now,” he said.
One million people have visited The Piece Hall in the first four months, meaning it is set to exceed the target of 1.6 million visitors for the first year.
“Economic transformation is only part of what we’re trying to achieve. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber said of his visit to The Piece Hall that this sort of modern transformation of our heritage buildings is what other towns should be doing. Through the spectacular contemporary events programme that around 100,000 people have enjoyed in the courtyard we’ve begun to see how to make The Piece Hall relevant for today,” said Mr Marsh.
The Piece Hall is already attracting significant events and conversations with major national and international producers and prospective partners. Millions worldwide would see the building when the Tour de Yorkshire sets off from there on May 6 this year.
“We’ve taken some difficult decisions, but they’ve been the right decisions for the long-term success of The Piece Hall. Many lessons have been learnt in 2017 and whilst we haven’t got everything just so, we have got most things right. We’ve been pleased at the success we’ve had with letting the commercial space and I’m confident that by the end of 2018 we will be 100 per cent let.
“A key piece of the jigsaw is to get the restaurant offering right and we’ve been taking our time to make sure that we do just that. That will be an exciting announcement in 2018,” said Mr Marsh.