HALIFAX TOWN Hall could soon to be home to a gift shop as part of efforts to find new uses for the impressive 19th Century building and raise revenue for Calderdale Council.
The authority is set to launch a review into how the grade II listed building can attract visitors and host events while continuing to perform its role as the home to council offices and meetings.
However, a report to be considered by senior councillors next week admits that previous discussions have failed to come up with a clear plan.
The main obstacle is the layout of the Charleys Barry-designed building which makes it hard to use spaces for events without interfering in the normal business of council workers and councillors.
However the report suggests that the refurbishment of the nearby Princess Buildings presents a new opportunity to look at whether Halifax’s historic buildings can become a “heritage and cultural attraction”.
Suggestions for short term measures to attract visitors include the creation of a Calderdale memorabelia gift shop in the town hall and clearer signs showing it is open.
Councillors will also be told that other authorities with similar buildings have used them to host craft fairs, beer festivals and summer events.
The report also considers changing the way the authority uses the building for its own activities.
In particular it raises concern that people involved in sensitive proceedings such as school appeals have to wait in public corridors.
It is suggested some of these meetings may be moved to the Princess Buildings.