Halifax Borough Market has been the heart of Halifax for over 150 years. But it needed some new thinking to take it into the next stage of its life.

Click below to view video we did with Sarah Mason Photography.

I was commissioned by Calderdale Council to work alongside the traders and market staff to ‘bring new life to The Halifax Borough Market’.

The market is a stunning Victorian building in the centre of Halifax and has been the beating heart of the town since its opening in 1896. Over the last few years, the market has seen a downturn in trade. This is due to many things, and nationally, the decline of the high street mirrors this. Also many of the traders, some who have worked in the building for 50 years plus, are nearing retirement.

So there has been a need for a new approach, to re-engage the public with the market and the existing traders, to change the space to reflect the new needs of the shopping public, and most importantly bring in a new generation of traders who will take the market forward into the future.

The work included trader workshops, place-making, branding, website, photography, social media, design, event production and management, creating new spaces in the market and more. (see below).

As well as branding, I worked on pulling together trader, customer, management & Council thoughts, opinions and ambitions and created a strategy that represented all views.

The project is ongoing.

Place Making

I recommended clearing a derelict space, The Albany Arcade – one which had empty units and had long become an unused corner of the market. We cleared it to make a flexible space to host pop-up markets, events and a setting are (which the market has never had).

The space is already highly popular with people buying food from various pats of the market and eating there.

We have hosted major events such as The Halifax Festival of Words (which included music, poetry, famous names of rock, entertainment, interviews & even a DJ playing late into the night). It was the first time a band ha played in the market for 30 years, and the first time it had been open late into the night.

The nationally renowned Handmade Parade created a Christmas buzz with their Magical Christmas Menagerie in the Albany Arcade. This included bringing their huge lit sculptures into the area and working with children to create christmas artwork and lanterns themselves. Their amazing work included a 20ft octopus (yes really!) sitting high atop the stalls, a huge mechanical lion, a 12 ft winter stag’s head and lots of huge stars, based on the tile patterns in the market.