Local businesses in Halifax have been visiting the former office building, Northgate House and the adjoining Central Library, as the transformation of both buildings starts to take shape.
As part of the wider transformation of Halifax, Calderdale Council is renovating its vacant former office building, Northgate House, to provide more than 40,000 square foot of high quality office space with new retail units on the ground floor.
This is in addition to the brand new sixth form centre which is being jointly developed by Calderdale Council, Trinity Multi-Academy Trust and Rastrick High School in the former Halifax Central Library.
After a busy few months on site, local businesses were invited to join Calderdale Council staff on a visit to hear about plans and see how the project is progressing.
Work is moving forward quickly on the project, with recent developments including the creation of a new atrium, installation of new windows and frames in the sixth form centre and work to create the new courtyard area. Classroom areas are starting to take shape, with the addition of partition walls, and the installation of mechanical, electrical and plumbing services progressing.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Resources, Cllr Jane Scullion, said: “Work at the Northgate House site is continuing apace and it’s exciting to see the buildings taking shape.
“The project aims to increase footfall, trade and jobs in Halifax town centre alongside plans for improved transport links, attractive public spaces and pedestrianised areas.
“This development offers real potential for many of our local businesses and I’m pleased that many went along to the site visit. Businesses were able to have a look around and find out more about our plans for the space, keeping them informed and allowing them to make the most of these future opportunities.”
During the visit, some of the local businesses shared their thoughts on the project.
Glenn Craven from Janet Green’s photography shop in nearby Market Arcade, said: “(Northgate) can only benefit the town. It’s going to bring so many people in to the town centre, it’s a massive plus. A no brainer.”
Becky Brooksbank from Le Munch Bunch sandwich shop, opposite Northgate House, said: “The site management and staff have been very considerate throughout. They’ve kept disruption to a minimum and kept us informed.”
Subject to final approvals for the project, the state-of-the-art offices and shops are expected to be completed in 2020.
£3 million of funding for the project is through the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment delivered in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP, said: “The transformation of Northgate House is a fantastic example of how we’re investing our Growth Deal funding into projects which support businesses to grow, benefitting not only the local economy in Calderdale but the whole of Leeds City Region.
“Halifax is one of the many jewels in Leeds City Region’s architectural crown and it’s exciting to watch how the landmark buildings which once helped to shape its town centre are being brought back to life to drive forward its future success.”
The new sixth form at Northgate House will welcome students in January 2020. It’s expected that around 600 new students and staff will be accommodated in the Northgate site from next year.