One of Leeds’ most important historic buildings could be thrown a lifeline.
Grade II-listed First White Cloth Hall is in danger of collapsing if it is not repaired, a report has warned.
The historic building, which is on the Buildings at Risk Register, could be given a new lease of life after council chiefs revealed they are in talks to secure its future.
Owners City Fusion have said they have been unable to bring forward a refurbishment scheme, but Leeds City Council is set to hold talks with the company in a bid to buy it.
A council report said: “The First White Cloth Hall is the most important historic building in Leeds. It is Grade II* listed building and in a seriously dilapidated condition.
“In the current economic climate City Fusion has been unable to bring forward a refurbishment scheme for their properties and the condition of the First White Cloth Hall continues to deteriorate.
“Without substantial repair the building could be declared unsafe and could even collapse.”
Estimates for the restoration of the 1711 hall are around £2.1m. The Heritage Lottery Fund has pledged £500,000 for refurbishment work plus an application for £250,000 from English Heritage.
Conservationists, including Leeds Civic Trust, have long been calling for action to save the city’s First White Cloth Hall in Kirkgate.
The hall was used by producers of undyed cloth who had previously traded in Briggate and was significant in establishing Leeds as a key commercial centre.
Kirkgate was Leeds’s first street.