Nicola Chance Thompson

Power List 2018
Chief Executive, The Piece Hall Trust

Nicky Chance-Thompson became a Trustee of the Piece Hall Trust in 2014 and took over as Chief Executive in April 2017. Nicky led the team to deliver a successful opening day on 1st August 2017 which attracted over 23,000 visitors and world media attention. By the end of November 2017 visitor numbers had risen to over 1m and in April 2018 reached 2m. Under her tenure in 4 short months, the Piece Hall achieved nearly 63% retail occupancy and delivered over 10 world class events which caught the eye of national and international media and the wider performance, heritage and arts community. The Trust have been recognised by the British Guild of Travel Writers Award for its achievements for putting Halifax and wider Calderdale on the tourism map and were delighted to receive Lord Lloyd Webber who awarded the project’s prestigious Heritage Angel award and remains a tremendous advocate of its ambitions. Since then the Piece Hall has gone on to win a number of prestigious awards for the building and its regeneration including the honour of being one of Historic England’s Top Ten Historic Places and has received awards from RIBA and RICS.

What does Northern Power Women mean to you?

We are living in extraordinary times. Northern Power Women gives me a platform to be part of a collective that can really influence what we change, how that change takes place and ensures that we raise hugely talented women up to be part of life changing discussions and decision making.

What is your greatest achievement?

Opening and operating the Piece Hall in Halifax, which has achieved over 2.5 million visitors in its first year of opening. It is a beautiful, historic and iconic building that I fell in love with the first time I saw it and it’s in the town where I choose to live today. I am continually in awe of my talented team who are the reason that the Piece Hall is the success it is today. A jewel in the crown of Yorkshire, it is something that the North can be proud of.

Why is it important to champion role models in the North?

I am originally from London and I feel that the talents of the North have been overlooked for such a long time. There are beautiful cities, towns and landscapes up here which have produced or are home to a whole host of global business leaders and amazing creative talents. It’s important that the North has a voice and perhaps even more importantly that it is heard.