Square Chapel Trust remains in Arts Council’s National Portfolio and has secured funding for the next four years


Square Chapel Trust remains in Arts Council’s National Portfolio

and has secured funding for the next four years

Square Chapel Arts Centre, Halifax has been awarded £624,204 National Portfolio funding from Arts Council England for the next four years.

Built in 1772, the run-down chapel was saved when six local theatre lovers bought the building for £25 in 1988. When Square Chapel first opened its doors as an arts centre, it’s performers wore hard hats in case plaster from the ceiling fell on them, and audiences were given blankets because the building had no heating and no glass in the windows.

Fast forward to the present day, the arts centre has been redeveloped and extended to include a cinema/studio space, a café/bar and dressing rooms as well as its existing auditorium in the original chapel side of the building.

The arts centre’s vision is based on the belief that arts, culture and creativity play a positive and critical role in enriching and enhancing the quality of life for people of all backgrounds and of all ages. Square Chapel aims to bring people together and explore what makes people feel open hearted and alive.

The newly redeveloped arts centre in the heart of Halifax, is a space that is safe and exciting, welcoming and experimental and facilitates the creation of inspiring and empowering opportunities for the people of West Yorkshire and beyond to engage with quality art through shared experiences owned by artists and audiences.

Director, David McQuillan said: “We have an exciting and beautifully designed building to share with the community around us. We’ll play a significant role in changing this part of the town, creating a unique destination that will draw visitors from a wider area; a creative vibrant economy with a thriving night-time economy. Halifax is a wonderful town and it deserves to be seen and enjoyed by more people. We are rightly proud and excited about attracting these people.”

“We’re thrilled to be recognised again by the Arts Council for the important role that we play alongside our fellow Calderdale and Yorkshire NPOs in establishing a genuinely exciting and innovative cultural offer in here in our part of the country. Support from the Arts Council has always been vital to the growth and development of Square Chapel, along with support from Calderdale Council and, of course, our brilliant local community. It’s a massively exciting time here in Halifax and at Square Chapel – from our humble but determined beginnings it’s amazing to see the space now with a beautiful café bar open every day and a new exciting cinema programme with 600 screenings a year.”

He went on to say: “Over the years we’ve put our heart into the incredible performance programme and outreach work we’ve become known for – we’ve put that same passion into our café and cinema and look forward to becoming known as a great place to come for food and film too!”

None of this would have been possible without the vision of the team and trustees, it’s dedicated volunteers, artists and audiences, the support of the community and Arts Council England as well as other sponsors and funders.

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    Located centrally, opposite Halifax railway station, Square Chapel is right next door to the Piece Hall.