09 Jun Cultural Calderdale
We had the pleasure of hearing Rachel Lappin speak from Cultural Destinations at Ladies For Networking this week, it was thoroughly engaging and invigorating. we were just bowled over with some of the amazing visitor figures for our area, we know we are an area of cultural importance but when you see the stats it truly cements us as a destination.
As an area we tick many boxes and you can see why, literature, events, creativity, stunning landscape, food & drink, family friendly, independent music, theatre, LGBT community and more. Plus many TV series have been filmed here, the most famous being Gentleman Jack!
In 2019, tourism was worth just under £400 million to Calderdale’s economy – a massive 14% increase from the £349 million in 2018
Around 8.2 million visitors made day and overnight trips to Calderdale in 2019 – 26% more than in 2018. The number of day trips alone increased by a whopping 27% to 7.9 million in 2019
About £295.8 million of the money tourists spent in the area directly benefitted local businesses, from hotels and restaurants to cafes, shops and attractions. This income is estimated to have supported 7,930 jobs, up 14% from 2018.
Due to Covid-19 it’s been a turbulent year for everyone but we are already seeing positive increase in visitors to the area and it will take time to get up to the figures of 2019 but we’ll get there.
Why Calderdale for culture and heritage?
It’s no surprise heritage is so big in a town built on history
Highlights include the 900 year-old Minster; a striking community space hosting music recitals and daily services. Parts of our Minster date back to the 12th century, and by the 18th century our magnificent Piece Hall was the centre of the UK’s entire woollen trade.Displaying rare machines and artefacts like lathes and looms, the Industrial Museum is another must. Our breathtaking Town Hall is Grade II* listed and topped by a magnificent 180ft spire, with design and interiors by Charles Barry and statues by John Thomas. Don’t miss Dean Clough, once the world’s largest carpet factory and now a vast and impressive home to various eateries, galleries and businesses.
The Bankfield Museum is popular too: a wonderful Grade II listed historic house with a textiles gallery, regimental museum and gorgeous interior decor. Even our fabulous Borough Market is a Victorian treasure, and a stunning venue for a host of great stalls.Chocolaty favourites Rolo and Quality Street come from our town, and then there’s the Halifax Building Society too of course – the UK’s largest until not so long ago. We’ve got the world’s tallest folly in Wainhouse Tower, which started life as a chimney.
If you’re a fan of Gentleman Jack, you’ll feel right at home in Halifax. Two of our attractions should be top of your list to visit, not just because they’re packed with history and gorgeous to look around, but also because they were significant in Anne Lister’s fascinating life. If you think you’ve seen Shibden Hall before, that’s because it played a starring role in Sally Wainwright’s hit series. Dating back to 1420, this stunning estate was the focus of the BBC drama, and visiting it gives you a uniquely close-up insight into the everyday lives of its characters. The gorgeous estate and restored gardens feature a boating lake, miniature railway, walking trails, play area and café. Meanwhile, Hope Hall is a fabulous Grade II listed Georgian building, and was once the home of Anne Lister’s arch rival coal merchant, Christopher Rawson.
What a destination! how could you not fall in love everyday with our area, we’re looking forward to a Summer of day trippers, staycation lovers and you, our locals, rediscovering what is on your doorstep, see you all very soon.
“We want people to run out of time to do things, not things to do , so there’s always more to come back to.”
Chloe McNeill, Halifax BID Project Manager