Major work to create premium office and retail space in Halifax town centre, attracting investment and increasing footfall, is nearing completion.
The Northgate development has seen the transformation of the former central library and Council offices. The library section opened as Trinity Sixth Form Academy in September 2020 and the remaining space has been developed to provide high-quality office space and a new retail and leisure offer in the heart of Halifax.
The impressive regeneration project has been delivered amongst unprecedented challenges, including the impacts of COVID-19, labour and material shortages and a number of supply chain issues, as experienced nationally.
The completed commercial and academic developments at Northgate will introduce footfall of approximately 1,500 people per day into Halifax town centre, supporting the economic recovery of local businesses.
The office space has been tailored to the requirements of the tenant, RSA, the multi-national insurance group which is moving into the large office space at the Northgate House site. This has included the installation of a raised access floor, suspended ceiling and new staff facilities including meeting rooms and break out spaces, as well as complex mechanical, electric and plumbing systems.
The interior structure of the building has been transformed, with a new central staircase and a double height atrium at reception. There are also four ground floor retail/commercial spaces, with stunning views of Halifax, which could be let as cafes, restaurants, gyms or further smaller office spaces. These spaces will be marketed later this year.
Substantial work has also been carried out to the courtyard area, which was previously stepped and therefore largely shaded most of the day. The area has now been levelled, creating a welcoming space off Market Street, with seating, planters and lighting. Level access is also available from this area to the retail units and office space.
Formal handover of the office space to RSA is due to take place later this year.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:
“It’s great news that major works to the courtyard and interior of the Northgate House development are now nearing completion. To deliver this regeneration project against the backdrop of unprecedented challenges is an incredible achievement. I couldn’t be prouder of the resilience of our officers, contractors and consultants in bringing this hugely important development forward.
“The state-of-the-art office and retail space is situated in a prime, town centre location, adjacent to the new Trinity Sixth Form College and next to the town’s bus station which is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound transformation. The removal of the hoardings reveals the works nearing completion and the new impressive courtyard where the former stepped sections have been replaced with a level, paved area which makes much better use of the available space.
“The Northgate development is a key part of our town centre investment programme, providing opportunities for economic growth and supporting the borough’s recovery from the COVID pandemic. The re-use of an existing structure has been a monumental engineering task, but it has provided an attractive and distinctive architectural statement and has had a much lower environmental impact than constructing a new build development.”
Karl Helgesen, Chief Claims Officer at RSA, said:
“We are really looking forward to moving in to the redeveloped Northgate House. We wanted an office that our staff would enjoy working from, but also enabled them to continue to provide the high quality service our customers expect and deserve from us. Northgate offers this, has been designed to our specifications and importantly underlines our continuing commitment to the area. We are really pleased that we have been able to play a role in the redevelopment of this key town centre landmark.”
Cllr Jeffery, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chair, Place, Regeneration and Planning, said:
“We need regeneration that breathes life into our towns and cities and provides employment and social opportunities. I welcome the development of the Northgate scheme, and the subsequent jobs it will create.
“The Combined Authority is committed to leading the economic recovery from the pandemic and schemes, such as this one, will play a vital role in rejuvenating Halifax.
“I look forward to seeing the newly transformed Northgate development and witnessing first-hand the buzz it creates in the town centre.”
The site is being marketed on behalf of the Council by BNP Paribas Real Estate UK. Liam Ridley, Senior Surveyor at the Leeds office, said:
“Northgate House represents a paradigm shift in the quality of workspace in Halifax town centre. Calderdale Council has delivered Grade A office accommodation that any developer of workspaces would be proud of. The flight to quality has been accelerated by the global pandemic and Northgate House demonstrates just that, quality.”
The Northgate transformation is part of the Next Chapter to enable economic growth, reduce inequalities and build a sustainable future.
The Northgate House project has received £3million funding from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.