Flagship town centre office and retail development nearing completion

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Work to create premium office and retail space in Halifax town centre, attracting investment and increasing footfall, will soon be finished.

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 Halifax.

“Unprecedented” challenges facing this regeneration scheme have included the impacts of Covid-19, labour and material shortages and supply chain problems.

Once finished, the commercial and academic developments at Northgate are expected to 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, a multi-national insurance group which is moving into the large 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.

And the interior structure of the building has been transformed, with a new central staircase and a double height atrium at reception.

There are four ground floor retail/commercial spaces, which could be let as cafes, restaurants, gyms or further smaller office spaces.  These units will be marketed later this year.

Formal handover of the offices to RSA is due to take place later this year.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and strategy, Councillor 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.

“The state-of-the-art office and retail space is 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.

“Northgate is a key part of our town centre investment programme, providing opportunities for economic growth and supporting the borough’s recovery from the pandemic.

“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 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, added: “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.”

The Northgate House project has received £3m from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), delivered by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, through the Leeds City Region Growth Deal – a £1bn package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across Leeds City Region.