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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August, 2005, 18:13 GMT 19:13 UK
'Innovative' market hall listed
Queensgate market hall
Some residents would like to see the building torn down
A 1970s market hall which has divided residents of a West Yorkshire town has been given Grade II listed status.

The decision to protect Huddersfield's "unusual and innovative" Queensgate Market Hall was supported by a public consultation, the government said.

Announcing the decision on Thursday, Culture Minister David Lammy described the hall as one of the best surviving examples of a 1970s retail market.

The town's Library and Art Gallery has also been granted listed status.

Queensgate Market Hall, which opened in 1970, features a "stunning roof structure" and is enhanced by abstract art on its east wall, the government said.

Dark and dingy

The building was recommended for listed status by English Heritage, which described it as a key example of a type currently under threat.

"It is an imaginative structure that combines innovative technology of its time to produce a dramatic space full of natural light with the striking focal point of the roof," Mr Lammy said of the building.

But the unique hall is not to everyone's taste, with plans by Kirklees Council to redevelop the hall and surrounding area dividing opinion.

Writing for the BBC last year, Huddersfield historian Lesley Kipling described the hall's atmosphere as that of a "dark and dingy cavern".

"In summer it is unbearably hot and airless, in winter it is cold and cheerless. Low ceilings combine with a lack of natural light to make it the kind of place where you don't want to linger," she said.

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