NEWS of the sale of the former Boyes department store building has been welcomed by city centre champions.

The 40,000 sq ft department store, on North Parade, went under the hammer through Auction House at the Norman Hunter Banqueting Suite at Elland Road on Thursday, fetching £225,000.

The guide price had been set at £250,000.

The Bradford BID (Business Improvement District) Team said of the sale news: “Great to see this large unit sold at auction first time.

“Fingers crossed for an appropriately quick turnaround into something that compliments North Parade and the surrounding area and has a positive impact on the businesses and visitors at the top of town.”

The lot for the building, which dates back to 1888, said: “This substantial retail department store offered with vacant possession and extending to a total of 40,147 sq ft.

“[It is] sure to appeal to both owner occupiers and residential developers, subject to the necessary consent being obtained.

“The property is comprised of a series of buildings over three to four storeys and of varying size and ages.

“All are inter-linked at various levels with striking frontages on North Parade, Oastler Square and Rawson Road.

“The property is in an established commercial part of Bradford city centre, an area which has improved significantly in recent years with a number of new bars and restaurants now present on the street.”

The sale of the building comes after Boyes moved from North Parade to Bradford’s Kirkgate Shopping Centre.

The discount shop opened to great fanfare on North Parade back in 2003, with hopes it would breathe new life into the city centre.

At the time, the Telegraph & Argus reported the firm had invested more than £500,000 in refurbishing the former Christopher Pratts store after it closed its doors.

The new store opened its doors to customers just over two weeks ago, adding to a raft of new shops in the centre.

When the move was announced, Andrew Boyes, Chairman and Joint Managing Director at Boyes, said: “The closure of the Morrison’s Westgate store and the Council’s proposals to demolish the Oastler Centre and relocate the market are extremely detrimental to retailing in their current store’s location, so Boyes are delighted to have the opportunity to move into the busy Kirkgate Centre with its very strong footfall.”

Discount store Boyes reopened in the Kirkgate Shopping Centre on May 3. The Telegraph & Argus recently reported on a resurgence at the centre, with shops like Boyes and TJ Hughes signalling their confidence by opening new stores.

Catherine Riley, who has been manager at the Kirkgate Shopping Centre for more than two decades, said there were just now nine empty units in comparison to 22 last year.

She said: “With everything that’s going on in this area, this is absolutely the right place to be."

Plans for the new three-storey food market and public square on Darley Street are due to be discussed by councillors on Monday. A report ahead of the meeting said the proposal would set the "national benchmark" for a contemporary market, acting as a new city centre anchor for Bradford.