The Piece Hall Trust celebrates one year as a unique 21st century cultural destination

Nicky Chance-Thompson, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust.

The Piece Hall Trust is all set to celebrate the first anniversary, on August 1st, of one of the UK’s most iconic and unique heritage buildings with the announcement of its first renowned patrons from the world of sports, art and culture.

Following a major transformation, in its first twelve months since re-opening on August 1st 2017, the charitable Trust which runs The Piece Hall reflects on the staggering numbers achieved and the support received locally, nationally and internationally. The Grade I Listed monument to industry is fast becoming recognised as one of the country’s foremost retail, cultural and heritage sites, blending a rich history from its 18th Century woollen trade roots, evolving to become a contemporary must-visit destination.

The Piece Hall has attracted a record number of visitors, 2.4m to date, with over 23,000 people attending the opening day. The building has no doubt contributed towards national media headlines which have helped put Halifax on the map.

In the last twelve months, The Piece Hall has created and hosted 67 days of flagship events including a royal visit, Internationally renowned company Trans-Express took the skies with ‘Enchanted Chandelier’; a monumental immersive installation took over the courtyard with ‘Albesila’ from Architects of Air; a major concert featuring Grammy award-winning Father John Misty and friends, the Tour de Yorkshire attracting 136 of the world’s best cyclists, 650 schoolchildren came together in chorus for the Big Sing, an historic event recreated for the 21st Century and the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow – which combined together wowed more than 2.4 million visitors breathing life back into the heart of Halifax.

As well as enjoying a retail and cultural revival, tens of thousands of visitors and students have been able to enjoy and benefit from the interactive educational facilities on offer at The Piece Hall. In the last year the site has hosted over 1,400 school visits, more than 9,200 family visits and conducted more than 2,400 guided tours.

Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust, Nicky Chance-Thompson: said: “After a very successful first year, I am really honoured to have attracted such an illustrious and diverse group of patrons who will help to support The Piece Hall in the next phase of its journey. Our vision of delivering a world class destination is becoming a reality and there is no doubt that the combined efforts of ourselves, partners and the people of this town have all helped to put Halifax on the map”

The patrons include: Halifax-born Paralympian Hannah Cockcroft, MBE, who officially re-opened The Piece Hall on August 1st 2017. Inspirational Hannah is a 5x wheelchair racing Paralympian Champion, 10x world champion and T34 World Record Holder.

Hannah is joined by Paul Whitaker OBE, an inspirational speaker, musician, performer who also founded the “Music & The Deaf” charity that ran for 27 years; Lord David Shutt OBE of Greetland. The former Calderdale Councillor was also parliamentary candidate for Sowerby, its Mayor 1982/83, he went on to enter the House of Lords in 2000 as life peer.

Other patrons confirmed from the world of art and culture are: Lester Noel, former member of band Beats International and now a performing arts and music teacher at Ravenscliffe High School; Reece Dinsdale, actor and director in TV, film and stage and renowned DJ Graeme Park, of the famed Manchester Haçienda Nightclub and Haçienda Classical events.

To mark the first anniversary an afternoon tea party is planned for Wednesday 1 August, ‘Yorkshire Day’ – Midday to 6pm.

The Piece Hall’s stunning courtyard will make a striking backdrop for this community tea party for everyone. Afternoon tea will be served by a selection of party pop-up food and drink traders, with special birthday celebrations including live music from the world-famous Rajasthan Heritage Brass Band and vintage swing band Jump Jive and Wail. There will also be face painting, a giant Yorkshire Rose artwork, Georgian photobooth and drop in crafts at the Activity Cart throughout the afternoon.