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The Piece Hall, Halifax by Evans Vettori

[FIRST LOOK] The £16 million overhaul of Halifax’s Grade-I listed Piece Hall has been unveiled by Evans Vettori

The scheme, which has just been submitted for £7 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund, includes punching a new ‘fourth’ entrance through the exterior wall of the 18th century building and the conversion of the huge courtyard at its heart into a ‘bustling town square.’.

The upper level of the landmark (completed in 1779), which boasts more than 300 rooms behind arcades and columns, will be turned into creative business units, while the middle floor has been earmarked for high quality retail.

According to the Matlock-based practice, which also recently submitted plans to almost double the size of neighbouring Grade-II* listed Square Chapel Arts Centre, the lower levels of the hall will become restaurants and bistros.

The firm is working alongside conservation architect Jessica Sutcliffe and landscape architect Whitelaw Turkington on the revamp of the hall.

Previous architects to have looked at redeveloping the Georgian gem, which was almost flattened in 1972, include Will Alsop.

Leader of Calderdale Council Stephen Baines said: ‘This fantastic development would enhance an already magnificent building and make Halifax a popular destination for business, shopping and entertainment, boosting the economy of the town and surrounding area.

‘The Piece Hall is an important part of Halifax’s history and was built to house the prosperous cloth trade here 230 years ago. It would be truly fitting if it ushered in a new era of prosperity for the people of Halifax.’

A decision on the application is expected in February 2010. If successful, a second-round application would then be submitted in September 2011 with a final decision in February 2012.

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