Architect in place to help save Leeds First White Cloth Hall

First White White Cloth Hall in ruins 6 Oct 2010 reproduced courtesy of Leeds Civic Trust
First White White Cloth Hall in ruins 6 Oct 2010 reproduced courtesy of Leeds Civic Trust
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Architects have been appointed to lead a project to rebuild and renovate the First White Cloth Hall in a four year contract set to start later this month.

Leeds City Council’s director of city developments gave the go-ahead for Buttress Architects to create and front a design team which will bring back into use the semi-derelict grade II listed building on Kirkgate in the city centre.

Leeds, 28th July 1991

Kirkgate.

Renovation of the historic White Cloth Hall.

The chairman of Leeds Civic Trust, Dr. Kevin O'Grady studies an artist's impression of how the first Cloth Hall in Kirkgate looked in 1710 and how it looks today. (1991).

The trust is campaigning for the retention of major architectural features in the hall.

Leeds, 28th July 1991 Kirkgate. Renovation of the historic White Cloth Hall. The chairman of Leeds Civic Trust, Dr. Kevin O'Grady studies an artist's impression of how the first Cloth Hall in Kirkgate looked in 1710 and how it looks today. (1991). The trust is campaigning for the retention of major architectural features in the hall.

Worth in the region of £245,748, the contract starts on September 12 and runs until the end of August 2020.

The council said that Manchester based firm Buttress had put forward the most “economically advantageous” tender with the brief being about 60% quality and 40% price.

The next phase of the project is for the design team to develop options that can be put forward as planning application submissions.

According to the council report discussed, the main aim of the First White Cloth Hall project is to “bring back into use an important historic building and allow users to experience this” as well as making it a financially viable venture.

It is now working with the owner of the building, City Fusion, to acquire the building so the project can go-ahead.

If both parties fail to come to an agreement then compulsory purchase of the building is being considered.

A council spokesperson said: “The property is in a fragile condition and requires significant investment which the owners are not able to provide.

“By aquiring the property the council believe the building can be saved and a financially viable use found for it.”

It was built in 1711 but is virtually derelict.

The hall has been on the Heritage at Risk Register since 1999 and in 2011 half of it was demolished after the collapse of neighbouring 101 Kirkgate.

A grant of £1.5 million has aready been secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund to put towards vital repairs.

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