Kirklees Council agrees deal to purchase George Hotel after National Rugby League Museum bid

Drew Darbyshire

Kirklees Council’s Cabinet has agreed a deal to purchase the George Hotel after submitting a bid to create a National Rugby League Museum in the building – where the sport was born.

The iconic hotel in Huddersfield is well-known for being the birthplace of rugby league in 1895. The hotel was built in 1851 and closed in January 2013.

The council announced in March this year that it had agreed a deal in principle to purchase the George Hotel in Huddersfield town centre, with the Cabinet approving the deal which will see the building come into the ownership of the council – and this will be completed in the coming weeks.

In May 2020, the council submitted a bid to create a National Rugby League Museum within it – and announcements will be made by Rugby League Cares shortly.

Leader of Kirklees Council, councillor Shabir Pandor, said: “When we launched the Huddersfield Blueprint, we said we were committed to get the George Hotel back open.

“This is so much more than a building to people in Huddersfield and to rugby league fans. It’s a proud part of our history and we want to make sure it is also part of our exciting future.

“I can think of no better place to create a National Rugby League Museum than the building where the sport itself was born and the public support we’ve received since submitting our bid has been overwhelming.

“The future of the George Hotel is crucial to our plans for Huddersfield town centre. We’re serious about revitalising our town centres and we will invest the money needed to do this.

“I’m delighted that we can now complete the purchase and bring the George Hotel back to life.”

Cabinet member for regeneration, councillor Peter McBride, said: “By making this investment and buying the George Hotel we can save it from any further deterioration and make it a key part of our vision for Huddersfield town centre.

“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 of our heritage buildings being brought back into use.

“Our bid to create a National Rugby League Museum in the hotel has been submitted and we’re confident we have made a very strong case to bring rugby league home.”

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