Exciting proposals to transform Northgate House into premium office and retail space and the former library into a new sixth form centre in the the heart of Halifax town centre have moved a step closer.
As part of the wider transformation of Halifax, Calderdale Council is planning to renovate its vacant former office building to support the vibrancy of the town centre.
On Wednesday 6 February 2019, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Investment Committee granted £3 million from the Local Growth Fund towards the £10.65 million refurbishment cost. This is a key milestone, enabling the ambitious project to move forward.
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader, said:
“Our vision is to make Halifax, and Calderdale as a whole, an even more thriving place where people want to live, work, learn, visit and invest. To achieve this, we’re delivering regeneration through an unprecedented level of investment. The Northgate House transformation aims to increase footfall, trade and jobs in Halifax town centre, alongside plans for improved transport links, attractive public spaces and pedestrianised areas.”
Subject to final approvals for the project, the state-of-the-art offices and shops are expected to be complete by spring 2020. There is already a good amount of interest in the site.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region LEP, said:
“Here is a prime example of how Growth Deal funding is enabling the LEP to accelerate economic growth across the entire City Region. The regeneration of Halifax town centre will support existing businesses to grow, encourage inward investment and create employment opportunities.
“This project represents a significant catalyst in the regeneration of Halifax which will engender confidence and momentum to support inclusive growth which works for everyone.”
Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the West Yorkshire and York Investment Committee, said:
“The next phase of the regeneration of Halifax town centre will build on the success story we have already seen with the new library development, the restoration of The Piece Hall and the extension of Square Chapel.
“This is an exciting project which will totally transform the town centre, creating even more reasons for people to visit, shop and set up their businesses here for the benefit of the local community.”
Next to Northgate House, in the former Central Library building, a brand new sixth form centre is being jointly developed by Calderdale Council, Trinity Multi-Academy Trust and Rastrick High School.
The high-quality facility will give Calderdale’s young people more options for their post-16 education, helping them reach their potential and to retain talent in the borough.
Bringing a sixth form centre to the heart of Halifax town centre will also give students access to the growing retail, food and leisure offer in the town. It is expected to open to students from January 2020.
Trinity Multi-Academy Trust, home of the outstanding Trinity Academy Halifax (TAH) sixth form, is working in partnership with Calderdale Council and Rastrick High School to deliver Calderdale’s very own sixth form centre. It has announced that the new building, which will be housed within the multi-million pound refurbishment of the Northgate site, will be open to students from January 2020. It will initially be able to accommodate up to 600 students, growing to 1000 students to meet increasing student demand. Students who enrol to the current TAH sixth form provision will be educated at the Trinity Academy Halifax site from September 2019 and then relocated to the Northgate site in January 2020.
Principal of Trinity Academy Halifax, Nick Robinson, said:
“I am delighted to have such interest in our new sixth form centre, which year 11 students in neighbouring schools can now apply to. The new building is such a transformational project, allowing more students to benefit from an outstanding sixth form provision in a state-of-the-art new building. At the start of the academic year, all sixth form students will be easily accommodated in our fantastic Trinity building, which has already been expanded to accommodate this. I appreciate that a small number of external students may have further to travel for a short period of time, but we have assured them that the Trust will provide free transport from Rastrick High School (and the town centre) to Trinity. It’s so exciting to think that, this time next year, our vision of having a Calderdale sixth form centre will be a reality.”
Cllr Megan Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, added:
“As part of our Next Chapter transformation of the Northgate site and Halifax, we’re excited to bring a brand new, high-quality sixth form centre to the heart of the town centre. We want all our young people to be able to access a good education within Calderdale and to reach their full potential. The impressive new facility will help retain talent locally by giving young people more choice post-16; will increase the number of secondary school places across Calderdale; and will boost economic growth by increasing footfall and spending in the town. It’s an important part of our Vision2024 for Calderdale, making it an even better place to live, learn, work, invest and spend time.”