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Nick Hill

The £19.2m Piece Hall, Halifax, project lands first CEO

One of the most substantial transformation projects in the UK, The Piece Hall, Halifax, has just landed its very first CEO.

The Piece Hall Trust appointed Sam Mason as the man to front the upcoming world class tourist destination when the Grade I Listed building in the town’s centre reopens in 2016.

From 2012, Sam was the commercial director of the Science Museum Group, and he previously held senior positions in Scotland, Cumbria and Lincolnshire.

The £19.2m renovation of The Piece Hall, which is now well underway, features the transformation and restoration of the monumental structure and courtyard into a modern heritage, business, leisure and cultural destination; with a state-of-the-art interpretation and learning centre, a new east extension and a re-designed piazza.

The Piece Hall Trust, which will manage the site once it re-opens, is already taking measures to make sure it is a commercial success and become one of the top visitor attractions in the country.

Wayne Bowser, chair of the Piece Hall Trust, said: “This key appointment is an important step in our plan to revitalise the stunning historic cloth hall that once was a magnet for the world’s woollen trade.

“Sam has the ideal CV for the job, with the perfect mix of commercial, creative and heritage experience to create a 21st century visitor attraction in this iconic Georgian landmark which is a complete one-off.

“One of Sam’s first responsibilities will be to attract businesses to the Piece Hall which match the calibre of the location, and create a successful retail, leisure and cultural destination, where visitors will enjoy new experiences in a very special setting.”

Councillor Tim Swift commented: “I offer a very warm Halifax welcome to Sam as he takes the reins for one of the most significant transformation projects in the UK.

Sam’s appointment marks another key milestone in the regeneration of Halifax and Calderdale.

“We are well on our way to achieving our ultimate aim of putting the Piece Hall firmly at the heart of the local community, creating a thriving cultural quarter for a new generation.”

Sam Mason, the new chief executive of the Piece Hall Trust, added: “For me, this is one of the most exciting refurbishment programmes in the UK. The Piece Hall is truly unique. Whilst it’s incredibly well preserved and is a vital part of our trade and industrial history, it is also simply a stunningly beautiful building and an extraordinary piazza.

“Whether as a unique retail and café outlet; a brilliant business base; a key heritage centre or as an exceptional venue for large scale outdoor events, I believe we can put the Piece Hall and Halifax right at the top of the cultural map of Britain.

“I cannot wait to get started on what I believe will be the most exciting and important job in my career to date. I hope to be able to realise and build upon the great vision that Calderdale Council and the Piece Hall Trust have created for this incredible place.”

Sam will take up his new role in June 2015.

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