Listed building at heart of revamp

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THE regeneration of the First White Cloth Hall is to be the centrepiece of the regeneration of the oldest street in Leeds.

Leeds City Council is consulting on a £2.6m plan to breathe new life into the Kirkgate area of the city.

Central to the plans is the redevelopment of the historic First White Cloth Hall, which celebrates its 300th birthday on April 22.

That day will also see public consultation begin on draft proposals for the area.

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The council is working with the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage and private property owners to improve the First White Cloth Hall and other properties along Lower Kirkgate.

Coun Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said: "This is a great chance for the people of Leeds to have their say about protecting the future of the oldest street in the city. Generation after generation of local people have walked down, shopped and done business in this very street at the heart of our city.

"The First White Cloth Hall is a very important part of the history of Leeds and I'm delighted at plans for its restoration.

"With the completion of the Arena and the Trinity Quarter, 2013 will be an exciting year in Leeds city centre. The rejuvenation of Kirkgate is a further exciting development that should help to create jobs and training opportunities for local people."

The council believes the Hall could become a base for small retailers, linking in with Leeds Kirkgate Market and the recently refurbished Corn Exchange.

Work could start on the scheme in the summer of 2013.


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