Top screenwriter Sally Wainwright has become a patron of The Piece Hall Trust in Halifax.
Welcoming the news as the restored former 18th century cloth hall moves into 2020, the Trust’s Chief Executive, Nicky Chance-Thompson, said the Gentleman Jack creator’s championing of the charity would be invaluable.
Sally, whose other screen hits include Happy Valley and Last Tango In Halifax, both set in Calderdale and with the latter soon to return to the small screen, has joined patrons including Paralympic champion Hannah Cockcroft, England rugby union legend Brian Moore and Hollywood film director Mark Herman in the ambassadorial role which sees them champion the charity, its development and the borough.
Ms Chance-Thompson said: “The Piece Hall Trust is absolutely honoured that Sally is now one of our growing number of amazing Patrons.
“Sally is one of the most loved and influential figures in Halifax and to have her support will be invaluable. Sally has already done so much for the region and we are delighted to be working with her.”
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BAFTA award-winning screenwriter, director and producer Sally, whose latest creation Gentleman Jack, a co-production with the BBC and American network HBO, tells the story of Anne Lister, an extraordinary Halifax landowner, diarist and traveller who kept diaries of her daily life including her lesbian relationships, said she was delighted to lend her support to the Trust and the Grade I listed building, which is fast becoming a prime driver of Calderdale’s economy following a £22 million renovation which saw it open its doors again in summer 2017.
This economic role is one of the main goals of funders which include Calderdale Council.
“I am delighted to become a patron of The Piece Hall Trust and lend my support to the whole enterprise around this magnificent building," she said.
“The Piece Hall has played a huge role in the regeneration of Halifax and its one of my favourite places – there is no other place like it. The Piece Hall Trust have done a fantastic job and I’m proud to be on board."
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Gentleman Jack has been a phenomenal success across the globe and along with the Piece Hall regeneration and cultural revolution that has taken place in the borough over the last few years the area has become one of the UK’s top tourist destinations.
An independent survey commissioned by the Trust showing that regionally it was second only to York Minster in internet search inquiries and had so far provided a £26 million economic boost for Calderdale.
The screenwriter was born in Huddersfield and raised in Sowerby Bridge, and began writing for series including BBC Radio’s The Archers and ITV’s Coronation Street, establishing a string of her own television successes with series like At Home With the Braithwaites and Scott And Bailey in addition to her Calderdale based dramas.