Halifax was chosen as the venue for a major national conference on Friday 27 May 2022, highlighting Calderdale’s key part in the national debate on the role of towns in our economic recovery, levelling up and thought leadership.

The Piece Hall Trust, Square Chapel Arts Centre and Calderdale Council worked together to host the final day of ‘Restitch: The Social Fabric Summit’. Led by ‘Create Streets’ and ‘Onward’, this high-profile event enabled important conversations on ‘restitching’ our social fabric and rebuilding connection following the pandemic, connecting to our history and heritage in Calderdale and the North.

Over 100 influential people visited Halifax, making this a massive event in the town’s story and paving the way for major impacts in the future as we work towards the Vision2024 for Calderdale. Key figures from politics and the public and private sectors included Lisa Nandy, Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities; Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire; Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA who wrote the Levelling Up White Paper; and Ben Page, Chief Executive of Ipsos. Guided tours of Halifax, Hebden Bridge and Todmorden also showcased Calderdale’s amazing heritage, community spirit and regeneration.

The summit was a great opportunity to promote our built environment and the borough’s work, especially in relation to community regeneration, civic pride, renewal and the role of towns in building a positive future, such as the Towns Fund investment in Brighouse and Todmorden. Speakers from the Council included the Leader, Cllr Tim Swift; Cllr Jane Scullion, Deputy Leader; and Shelagh O’Neill, Director of Regeneration and Strategy.

Cllr Jane Scullion also spoke at the Restitch summit’s stage-one event in London on Tuesday 24 May. Other speakers included the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Dame Sara Khan, the government’s advisor on social cohesion.

Cllr Scullion said “It was an honour to be invited to speak at the Restitch conference in London and to welcome part of the summit to Calderdale. This reflects our status at a national level for thought leadership addressing the key issues we face today – levelling up, inequalities and how we innovate to make our places strong and sustainable. We were able to shine the spotlight on some of the amazing things Calderdale has to offer, and which make us an enterprising and talented place.

“Welcoming such influential people to Calderdale was a huge deal for our place and a really important moment to get the ball rolling for future impacts as we work to revitalise our area.”

The key topics for discussion highlighted the jewels in Calderdale’s crown, including heritage, identity, community and the partnership approach to regenerating towns and bringing people together.

The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? What’s our ambition and what will be different? Find out more at www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision