• Among more than 2,700 recipients to benefit from the latest round of awards from the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
  • This award will help The Piece Hall reopen

The Piece Hall in Halifax has received a grant of £442,700 from the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund to help the organisation recover and reopen.

Nearly £400 million has been awarded to thousands of cultural organisations across the country including The Piece Hall in the latest round of support from the Culture Recovery Fund, the Culture Secretary announced today.

Built in 1779, the Grade I listed asset is ranked by Historic England as being within the top 2% of buildings noted for their architectural and historical interest within the UK. In 2014, The Piece Hall closed for transformation with around £22m of funding to help regenerate the town, raise aspiration levels and boost opportunities. It reopened on Yorkshire Day 2017.

Uniquely for a heritage building it is home to around 40 small independent retail and food businesses and hosts major concerts as well as cultural and arts events including: the Kaiser Chiefs, Father John Misty, the Tour de Yorkshire and the Antiques Roadshow.

Over £800 million in grants and loans has already been awarded to support almost 3,800 cinemas, performance venues, museums, heritage sites and other cultural organisations dealing with the immediate challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

This brings the Government's total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2 billion across over 5,000 individual cultural and heritage organisations and sites.

The second round of awards made today will help organisations to look ahead to the spring and summer and plan for reopening and recovery. After months of closures and cancellations to contain the virus and save lives, this funding will be a much needed helping hand for organisations transitioning back to normal in the months ahead.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said: “Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they've ever faced.

Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead."

Nicky Chance-Thompson DL, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust, said:
“Whilst the past year has been hugely challenging for the tourism, retail, culture and heritage sectors, there is now cause for significant optimism. This latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund recognises the inherent importance of heritage and culture’s role in supporting and kick starting the nation’s recovery.”

“As an organisation with its history deeply rooted in trade and commerce – the only surviving Georgian Cloth Hall in the world- we look forward to continuing to support our thriving tenant community of independent traders as well as the wider town and Borough. We have a proven track record of contributing significantly to the local economy through our heritage offer and year-round programs of activities. This latest funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will enable us to reopen with some certainty and build reserves to ensure our longer-term sustainability. Importantly, we hope to bring some much-needed joy back to people’s lives and help them to recover from the effects of the pandemic. We are deeply grateful to Government for helping to secure the future of The Piece Hall.”

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Spring is definitely here, bringing not only sunshine but that sense of optimism and hope for the future. We are all looking forward to heritage places and other visitor attractions reopening and I am very pleased that we have been able to support DCMS in delivering this vital funding to ensure the UK’s heritage sector can rebuild and thrive, boosting local economies, creating jobs and supporting personal wellbeing.”

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: “The value of our heritage sites and the people who run them has been amply demonstrated, as they have provided an anchor for so many of us through the dark days of the last year. Vital grants from the Culture Recovery Fund have helped them survive and will now help them recover, as the places we all cherish start to reopen in the months ahead.”

The funding awarded today is from a £400 million pot which was held back last year to ensure the Culture Recovery Fund could continue to help organisations in need as the public health picture changed. The funding has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England as well as the British Film Institute and Arts Council England