Founder and director of Calderdale-based communications, strategy and public affairs consultancy Waverley, Stephen has lived in Yorkshire since the age of 3 and remains a resident here today. Starting his career as a journalist on the radio broadcasting to West Yorkshire, he has since worked across politics and policy before starting his own business in 2013. A regular visitor to The Piece Hall, Stephen is particularly passionate about raising awareness for The Piece Hall’s heritage and culture.


What makes you proud to live in Yorkshire?

Yorkshire is a place like no other. The sense of community brings a collective sense of pride but also grit and determination. I’m not Yorkshire-born, but having lived here since I was 3, I am Yorkshire-bred and when we moved back here it was very much like moving home. You can trace the Naylor line back to the opening of The Piece Hall and beyond and I like to think that when my great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather looked out from their Southowram home he was as inspired by what was being built in front of their eyes as I am today. The Piece Hall makes me proud to live in Yorkshire - it exemplifies everything that is great about our great county – the heritage, the culture, the reinvention as a modern masterpiece with a history that tells a story. 


How does The Piece Hall benefit the local area?

The numbers tell their own story - in the first two years after reopening in 2017, it added £26 million to Calderdale’s economy. For every £1 that is spent running what’s inside, it brings £5.30 to the economy beyond its gates. It’s also part of a tourism boom here with nearly 7,000 jobs reliant on the visitors who come to Calderdale. But beyond the numbers, it benefits us through something immeasurable – by being a place that makes us proud, a place that others look to and think how much they’d like to live near it. A building simply does not get to be nearly 250 years old by not benefiting the community it is part of. That is as true now as it was in 1779. 


How do you like to spend your time when visiting The Piece Hall?

We love to visit The Piece Hall as a family – my two boys, aged 2 and 5, love nothing more than spending a lot of time in The Book Corner deciding what books they want to buy now and what they want to read next. This, of course, is followed by a trip to Blondins trying out every flavour of ice cream they have and a run around the courtyard working off all the sugar.  


Which events at The Piece Hall have you enjoyed?

For us, with a young family, The Piece Hall is a place for enjoying all the time but it’s transformation into an events venue is seriously impressive. The 2020 events calendar was spectacular and we had tickets booked which, of course, have not been able to be used. We can’t wait to be there for the amazing line-up in 2021 and look forward to life returning to being a bit more normal. 


What makes you proud to be an ambassador for The Piece Hall?

When something amazing is on our doorstep, we tend to take it for granted. That is how it is with The Piece Hall. If we were travelling to Florence, Madrid or Prague it would be on our lists as a ‘must see’ – but it’s easy to overlook world class sites when they are on our doorstep and lost amongst the flurry  of normal, everyday life. I’m really keen to draw attention to the financial benefits that The Piece Hall brings to Calderdale – it’s important we understand why it is worth the investment, and how it benefits us all. Because it does. Hugely.

Supported by
The Piece Hall heritage regeneration project is also supported by Garfield Weston Foundation and The Wolfson Foundation.
The Piece Hall is independently managed by The Piece Hall Trust, a registered charity, number 1156948. Registered in England and Wales, number 08906735.
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