Progress towards the transformation of the historic Halifax Borough Market has taken a significant step forward, as the ambitious revitalisation initiative attains key milestones.

Calderdale Council’s investment of nearly £4.5 million has propelled the market hall closer to a thriving future, positioned as a central hub for shopping, commerce, and leisure activities within Halifax. This success follows the attainment of £11.7 million from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund, allocated for enhancements across the town centre.

The restoration of the Grade II* listed Borough Market, which first welcomed visitors in 1896, encompasses the following aspects:

The restoration of the historic façade and repairs to the ornate roof, a pivotal element of its heritage.

Enhancements to entrances and pathways within the market, aimed at facilitating exploration and enabling visitors to fully appreciate the diverse array of features and stalls. This will also foster better connectivity between the upper and lower sections of the town centre.

The creation of improved event spaces beyond the market’s trading hours, including pop-up units and renovated restroom facilities.

In the most recent milestone, the Council has submitted an application for consent related to the listed building status. This application pertains to enhancements of the market arcade doors, designed to complement the newly installed automatic sliding doors found at other entrances.

While the original swing doors remain in place at the market arcade entrance, efforts are being directed towards making them suitable for contemporary use and easier to operate, while still acknowledging their historical importance as a central component of the market’s heritage and identity.

Pending approval of the listed building application, the two outer historic doors will undergo restoration to preserve their original characteristics and unveil previously concealed intricacies. Additionally, plans include the replacement of the arched glazed wall encompassing these doors, with the entire entrance area receiving a fresh coat of paint to match the new colour scheme of the roof.

This application for the market arcade follows recent grants for planning permission and listed building consent for the revitalisation of the Albion Street entrance. This endeavour involves renewing shopfronts, introducing a distinctive steel and glass canopy above the entrance, new signage, and retractable awnings, all contributing to enhancing the market’s prominence on this side of the town centre.

A request for listed building consent has been submitted by the Council for the vicinity surrounding the market hall’s clock, aiming to optimise the presence of the original clock within the heart of the market. This initiative aims to establish a space for gatherings, entertainment, and information dissemination. Furthermore, the current fruit and vegetable vendor located in the clock tower area will be relocated to a newly constructed stall.

Significant progress has been achieved in the extensive reroofing project. The replacement of all glass components seeks to infuse the market hall with a brighter and more open ambience. New double glazing and enhanced roof insulation will contribute to improved energy efficiency, aligning with the Council’s climate action objectives and net zero carbon goals.

The steel structures supporting the roof are undergoing comprehensive redecoration, employing a palette of blue, green, and cream shades. This selection received the approval of Historic England, as historical evidence substantiates the use of these colours within the market’s history.

Efforts have also been directed towards the installation of high-speed WiFi networks, catering to both customers and traders. Ongoing work includes the refurbishment of public and trader restrooms, the implementation of clear signage throughout the building, and the transformation of the Albany Arcade space to accommodate 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).