Top chef at gallery?

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TOP chefs could be attracted to the city when one of Wakefield’s oldest buildings becomes a high class restaurant.

The Elizabethan Gallery, on Brook Street, will be sold to Trinity Walk so that it can become a high-quality restaurant.

And it is hoped the plan will raise the profile of the city’s food scene.

Representatives of Trinity Walk told the Express this week that the new establishment would be high quality and unlike anything currently in the city.

Tim Binnington, chairman of Sovereign Land (part of the Trinity Walk Limited Partnership consortium), said: “We have exciting plans, with a refurbishment that will respect and enhance the historic fabric of the building while creating a contemporary restaurant space.

“We are delighted that the council has agreed to accept our offer. It will be an integral part of the city centre and further enhance the renaissance of this important part of Wakefield.”

Under the terms of the sale, which were approved by a cabinet committee this week, Wakefield Council will not allow developers to use the site for anything other than a high quality restaurant.

They would have to secure a suitable tenant within 12 months.

And if the operation fails to succeed, the council would buy the building back.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Cabinet member for regeneration and economic growth, said the plan would improve the Trinity Walk food area and provide new jobs.

She said: “This decision will be a massive boost to the area ensuring that this building, part of Wakefield’s rich cultural heritage, will continue to be enjoyed by the community.

“We are confident that Trinity Walk Ltd will enhance this building, keeping it as a focal point of the city centre. Ensuring the building is converted into a high quality restaurant, will improve the leisure offer within the city.”

The grade-II listed gallery building dates back to the 16th century, but has not been used for exhibitions for several years.

It was originally the free Grammar School of Wakefield, founded by Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I. But it was bought by the council in 1979, when it was known as the Old Cathedral School.