Developer is drawing up plans for historic Leeds site

First White Cloth Hall in Leeds.First White Cloth Hall in Leeds.
First White Cloth Hall in Leeds.
Plans to safeguard the future of an historic city centre landmark are being drawn up by new owners following their acquisition of the site.

Working with the city council, City Fusion and other interest groups, Rushbond plans to refurbish and redevelop Leeds’ First White Cloth Hall as part of the wider renaissance of the Kirkgate area of Leeds city centre.

Mark Finch, director of Rushbond, said: “The First White Cloth Hall is arguably the most important building that drove the transformation of Leeds’ economy in the early 18th century.

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“Its relevance is engrained in the social and architectural history of the city.

“Over many years, there have been various attempts to bring forward a viable scheme that ensures a sustainable future for the asset.

“We now believe that, with the skills and resource we and our team can bring to bear, and working closely with the local community in particularly the city council, Historic England and the Leeds Civic Trust, we can transform the site and ensure it truly acts as a catalyst to the wider regeneration of this amazing historic street.”

First White Cloth Hall was built in 1711, providing the first secure and sheltered building for the sale of undyed cloth in the city. It was replaced by a second hall on Meadow Lane and then subsequently by the third Hall, on Crown Street.

The First Hall was later converted into an alehouse, shops and then houses, and most latterly used as shops.