The £19.2 million transformation of The Piece Hall, which first opened in 1779, is now well underway with the monumental structure and immense courtyard currently being restored and transformed into a modern heritage, business, leisure and cultural destination. The redevelopment plans include an interpretation and learning centre with a new east extension and a re-designed piazza.
Bringing a wealth of relevant experience from the Science Museum Group, where from 2012 he was the Commercial Director, Mason will oversee the project to revitalise the Grade 1 listed building, which is central to the renaissance of Halifax.
“For me, this is one of the most exciting refurbishment programmes in the UK. The Piece Hall is truly unique,” he said. “While it’s incredibly well preserved and is a vital part of our trade and industrial history, it is also simply a stunningly beautiful building and an extraordinary piazza. Whether as a key heritage centre, a unique retail and café outlet; a brilliant business base; or as an exceptional venue for large scale outdoor events, I believe we can put the Piece Hall and Halifax right at the top of the cultural map of Britain.”
The Piece Hall Trust, formed in 2013, will manage the site when it re-opens and has plans to transform it into one of the top visitor attractions in the country. Chair of the Piece Hall Trust, Wayne Bowser, said: “This key appointment is an important step in our plan to revitalise the stunning historic cloth hall that once was a magnet for the world’s woollen trade.”
One of Mason’s first responsibilities will be to attract businesses to the Piece Hall which match the calibre of the location, and create a successful cultural destination, leisure and retail centre, where visitors will enjoy new experiences in a very special setting.
The Piece Hall transformation project is being funded by Calderdale Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund with additional support from the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation.