Malik House Group is opening its fifth centre in a Grade 2 Halifax building
The Malik House Group is planning to open its fifth business centre in a historic Halifax town centre building.
Malik House Business Centres have bought the Grade II listed Harrison House, in Halifax, which has been empty for around three years.
The group has centres in Bradford, Leeds and Blackburn, specialising in refurbishing historic buildings and merging original features with facilities.
Chairman of Malik House Business Centres, Nasser Malik, Bradford’s 2017 Business Personality of the Year, commented: “It has always been our aim to expand further out across Yorkshire and we have been looking for some time for suitable premises in Halifax.
“When this property came on the market we knew it was exactly what we wanted. It’s a fantastic building steeped in history, with an old library and a tiered lecture theatre.
“Our aim will be to retain as many of the original features as possible, while installing modern facilities to bring it up to date for business use.”
Previous redevelopments have created fully networked serviced office and conference spaces, with broadband and security systems.
The new owners intend to divide the 14,500 sq ft building into around 30 office units for the use of a whole range of companies, with Malik House complexes known for attracting new business into an area to take advantage of the facilities and to spark job creation.
Harrison House sits in a prominent position in the commercial district of Halifax town centre, opposite the magistrates’ court, surrounded by banking and legal offices and bars.
The three-storey building already has a number of existing offices and training rooms on the first and second floors as well as an enclosed courtyard. There is a basement area which Mr Malik hopes to convert into additional usable space, potentially suitable for studios used by digital businesses.
Mr Malik said his team is working closely with council officers and members of the Halifax Civic Trust to create a concept that will preserve the history and features, within a modern, functioning development that will benefit the district’s economy.
Halifax Civic Trust’s vice chairman, David Glover, has said that Harrison House dates back to 1834 when it was home to the select Halifax Literary and Philosophical Society, who met and held lectures there.
The society had a museum on the premises which was later opened to the public. The opening and early days were mentioned in the famous diaries of Anne Lister who was the only female founder member.
For many years from the 1960s, it housed a Calderdale Council branch library and was used for choral society rehearsals and occasional lectures in the fine raked theatre with its “notable acoustics.”
It was later leased to Calderdale DART (Disabled Advice Resource Team) and local substance misuse teams as well as usage from mental health charities.
Halifax Civic Trust has been expressing concern for some time about the number of historically or architecturally important buildings lying empty and unused in the Halifax Town Centre Conservation Area. The Trust fears that if these historic buildings are left empty for too long, their condition will deteriorate, putting their future at risk.
Mr Glover concluded: “We are concerned about the future of these historic buildings and we do wish to conserve them and find new uses, with sympathetic conversion wherever possible.”