Securing a thriving future for historic Halifax Borough Market

Halifax Borough Market's iconic clock underneath a newly glazed section of the roof.

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The transformation of the historic Halifax Borough Market has moved a step closer, after the multi-million-pound revitalisation project reached significant milestones.

Calderdale Council is investing nearly £4.5 million into a thriving future for the market hall as a focal point for shopping, business and leisure in Halifax, after it successfully secured £11.7 million from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund for improvements across the town centre. 

Work on the Grade II* listed Borough Market, which opened in 1896, will include:

  • Restoration of the historic façade and repairs to the beautiful roof, which is an important heritage feature.
  • Improved entrances and routes inside the market to make it easier to explore and to help people enjoy the market’s many features and stalls, and to better link the top and bottom ends of the town centre.
  • Improved areas for events outside of market trading hours, including pop-up units and refurbished toilet facilities.

In the latest milestone, the Council has submitted the listed building consent application for improvements to the market arcade doors, to complement the new automatic sliding doors in the other entrances.

The original swinging doors are still in place in the market arcade entrance, so listed building consent is being sought to make them fit for modern use and easier to open, whilst recognising their historical significance as a key part of the market’s heritage and identity.

Subject to listed building consent, the outer two historic doors will be repaired and preserved to protect their original features and reveal previously hidden details. It is also proposed to renew the arched glazed wall that the doors sit within, and the whole entrance will be painted to reflect the roof’s new colour scheme.

The application for market arcade comes after planning permission and listed building consent were recently granted for work to revamp the Albion Street entrance to the market. This will include renewing the shopfronts and creating a distinctive new steel and glass canopy above the entrance, new signs and retractable awnings, which will make the market stand out more at this side of the town centre.

The Council has submitted a request for listed building consent for the area around the market hall’s clock, for work to make the most of the striking original clock in the middle of the market and to create an area for meeting, entertainment and information. The fruit and veg retailer currently based there will be relocating from the clock tower to a new purpose-built stall. 

The major reroofing project is well underway. All the glass is being replaced to make the market hall feel lighter and brighter. New double glazing and roof insulation will help to keep heat inside the building, increasing the building’s energy efficiency and contributing to the Council’s climate action priority and net zero carbon target.

The roof’s steel structures are being fully redecorated with a blue, green and cream colour scheme, which Historic England approved as there was evidence that the same colours had been used historically in the market.

New, high-speed WiFi networks have been installed for customers and traders, and work is ongoing to refurbish the public and trader toilets, to create clear signage for the whole building, and to develop the Albany Arcade space for daytime and evening events.

Cllr Silvia Dacre, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Resources, said:

“The distinctive Victorian Halifax Borough Market is a much-loved part of the town and our local heritage. We are investing to make sure it stays at the heart of the community for years to come, with new facilities that will help secure the market’s future by encouraging more people to visit and trade there, and helping to tackle climate change.”

Cllr Sarah Courtney, Cabinet Member for Towns, Tourism and Voluntary Sector, added:

“Revitalising the Borough Market supports our priority for thriving towns and places. Alongside the other exciting regeneration projects across Halifax, including the Future High Streets investment into the Victoria Theatre, George Square and the historic alleyways, it will encourage people to explore and stay longer, boosting their experience, local businesses and cultural assets.”

The market transformation, along with the range of other planned projects, is thanks to the £18 million awarded to the Council in December 2020 from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, to support town centre improvements in Halifax (£11.7 million) and Elland (£6.3 million).

Think you know Halifax? Think again. It’s an inspiring time for the town. Discover your part in it. Visit www.calderdalenextchapter.co.uk/think-you-know-halifax

Both the Halifax and Elland programmes will build on the distinctiveness and enterprise that are key features of the Vision 2024 for Calderdale. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday and there is less than a year to go. Where do we want to be by 2024? What’s our ambition and what will be different? Find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision