FOR almost 100 years it was renowned as one of the most important places in the world to sell undyed cloth.
Now a shopping complex, White Cloth Hall in the centre of Leeds, has been sold for £1.35m to a London-based private investor.
Cloth halls were important centres for the sale of cloth and other products across Europe from the medieval period until the 19th century.
The building was the third cloth hall to be constructed in Leeds during the eighteenth century. It was built at a cost of £4,300 and operated between 1776 and 1865. During the Victorian period, it played host to various events, including a circus.
However, when the railway was extended through Leeds in 1865, the building was cut in half by the North Eastern Viaduct.
This led to the development of the fourth White Cloth Hall, built at the expense of the North Eastern Railway Company.
Each hall was bigger than its predecessor to meet the needs of the cloth trade in Leeds. What remains of the grade two listed building, just off Kirkgate next to The Corn Exchange, is now occupied by shops and a Pizza Express restaurant.
Ben Hall, investment director at property agent GVA in Leeds, who sold the property on behalf of a private investor, said “I am very pleased to have completed the sale of one of Leeds’s most important historical buildings.
“We are seeing improved investor confidence in the commercial property market in 2013 and a sale at this level is another sign to reinforce what we have seen since the turn of the year.
“The sale also demonstrates inward investment into the region which is yet another increasing sign of confidence that conditions are improving.”