On Sunday 29 March, following five days of heated clashes between 20 rival Yorkshire landmarks, The Piece Hall in Halifax, was proclaimed Iconic Buildings champion in the inaugural World Cup of Yorkshire, run by the regional tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire.
The Grade I listed former cloth hall was up against the World Heritage site of Fountains Abbey in the final after seeing off world class competition in the earlier rounds that included York Minster, Harewood House, Bolton Castle and Ripley Castle.
The online tournament, which encouraged public voting through Twitter, was designed to shine a light on some of the region’s most striking attractions – no mean feat when the area boasts such an embarrassment of riches in this field. There were eight stately homes or houses on the list, six castles, five abbeys and three minsters – alongside Gothic civic halls, cathedrals, winter gardens, galleries and towers spanning north to south and east to west with thousands of votes cast in each round.
Nicky Chance-Thompson DL, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust, commented: “What a wonderful weekend of fun and positivity, in which the iconic and unique Piece Hall triumphed. Welcome to Yorkshire brilliantly reminded us of what a truly stunning region we live in, at such a difficult time. It’s clear the Piece Hall has grown in reputation and is much loved by the people of Yorkshire.
Without the investment and foresight of the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Calderdale Council to transform the space and our great Board and team at The Piece Hall Trust who have brought the space to life - we wouldn’t have been in the running.
I am sure I’m not alone in looking forward to welcoming visitors back in the weeks or months to come. A great result for us and a really welcome lift to everyone’s spirits.”
The Piece Hall Halifax re-opened to the public in 2017, following a period of renovation, since when it has welcomed over 6million visitors through its gates. The only remaining building of its kind in the UK, The Piece Hall is a landmark like no-other; its 66,000sq ft open courtyard is surrounded by more than 40 local independent shops, restaurants, bars and cafes and it regularly hosts large-scale live music and arts events, seasonal markets and free family activities.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s chief executive James Mason added: ‘’Huge congratulations to The Piece Hall in Halifax for lifting the inaugural World Cup of Yorkshire in the Iconic Buildings category. This stunning architectural landmark is totally unique in the UK and I’m incredibly proud we have it here in the county. The way it has been preserved and sympathetically modernised so beautifully and sensitively as a home to so many fantastic boutiques and artisan independent businesses is just brilliant.
Add to that the arts and entertainment offer with live performances, sculpture and a great calendar of music concerts already under its belt and it’s a true must visit destination.
“I hope everyone will put the Piece Hall on their ‘must see’ list for when Yorkshire bounces back on the other side of the COVID-10 crisis.
And a big well done to all the other contenders in the competition, any one of these buildings or attractions would have been a worthy winner and combined are what makes Yorkshire the amazing county that it is. One thing that has become apparent from the overwhelming engagement on social media to the competition is that we all have a new- found appreciation of these buildings on our doorsteps and we miss them all. I have to thank our creative team for coming up with this and many other ideas to support the Yorkshire tourism economy at this difficult time.”