Exciting news for rugby fans as Kirklees has purchased the Huddersfield’s iconic George Hotel for £1.8m to create a National Rugby League Museum.

The George Hotel is famous for being the birthplace of Rugby League since 1895 which will now have an amazing rugby museum.

The council approved the deal on 16th June 2020 and received the keys to the property, they have been working on this since June 2019 as part of the Huddersfield Blueprint vision.

With £1.8 million completed, work can start on renovating it. Rugby League Cares will work closely with the council to create the museum.

Rugby ball

The council has secured £1.4million in funding from the Ministry of Housing, communities and local government to carry out the first phase of renovation works, with other funding bids have also been submitted to help fund the project.

Several options are also being explored for the use of the rest of the building which includes a hotel, a bar/restaurant or office space.

The George Hotel will be part of a revitalised St George’s Square which will include a revamped train station, an improved public space and more key heritage buildings being brought back into use.

Kirklees is also one of the hosts of the Rugby League World Cup 2021. The tournament begins in October 2021, with the Men’s Quarter Final being played at the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield

Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Kirklees Council, said: “It’s a massive moment for the town, our regeneration plans and for rugby league. The National Rugby League Museum will be a real centre-piece for our Huddersfield Blueprint regeneration plans and will draw people into the town from far and wide.”

McBride said the building is where it all began for rugby league and it is something to celebrate and hold on to. He said it would be a key part for the future just as much it is key part for their heritage.

McBride is pleased that they have been able to successfully secure such a significant amount funding to help deliver the exciting project.

“It shows that others have confidence in our vision and what it will bring to Huddersfield and Kirklees as a whole”.

Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet member for Greener Kirklees, said: “This is a really exciting step forward and I can’t wait to see the George Hotel open its doors once again after being closed for far too long.”

Mather said the Huddersfield Blueprint vision will transform the town centre and the George Hotel. Work will now begin to create a National Rugby League Museum in the building