Leeds City Council, in association with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation heritage committee, have announced their joint intention to back the bid of Kirklees Council to make the home of the sport’s proposed national museum at the to be renovated George Hotel in Huddersfield, announced today.
Leeds, as a destination city and at the forefront of the heritage of the sport, bid for the museum first time round and had intended to do so again until the plans for the George, where the original founding clubs met 125 years ago, was announced as a possible venue.
Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake said: “Any city, or town, would be delighted to have the opportunity to host the National Rugby League Museum, none more so than Leeds. But as soon as we were aware that our friends in Kirklees have earmarked the spiritual birthplace of rugby league, The George Hotel, we, Leeds Rhinos, Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Leeds City Council are determined to not only get behind their bid, but also to say we would be delighted to assist them in achieving their aims”.
Chair of the Leeds Rhinos Foundation heritage committee, Phil Caplan, added: “The George Hotel is the prime location for the museum, not least with its proximity to the rugby league’s official archive at nearby Heritage Quay at Huddersfield University. Whilst Leeds, which is the home of a foundation club and ground at Emerald Headingley Stadium, a semi professional club in Hunslet with some of the richest history, and community offerings throughout the city and its region could have offered a wonderful home, we are fully supportive of the plan to take the sport back to where it all began in 1895. That is right, fitting and appropriate.”