Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds City Council to purchase historic city centre hall

The First White Cloth Hall as it is currently Image copyright Leeds City Council
Image caption The decrepit hall is on the Heritage at Risk Register

The site of one of the most historic buildings in Leeds is to be purchased as part of a £3.9m restoration project.

The Grade II* listed First White Cloth Hall forms part of Leeds City Council's scheme to restore Kirkgate, the city's oldest street.

Built in 1711 the decrepit hall is on Historic England's Heritage at Risk Register.

Councillor Richard Lewis said: "The First White Cloth Hall is a hugely important part of our city's heritage."

The building would be "brought back into use as soon as we can", added Mr Lewis.

The council's executive committee approved plans to purchase the freehold after initial attempts to reach a 300-year lease arrangement with the owners failed.

The hall played an important role in Leeds becoming the centre of the county's textile trade.

The authority has obtained £1.5m from Heritage Lottery Fund to invest in the project together with £668,000 of from its capital programme and a predicted £1.5m of private match funding.

An additional £250,000 has been earmarked for the hall by Historic England.

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