The location of rugby league’s inception is set to become the sport’s first-ever museum.
The George Hotel in Huddersfield has been selected to host the facility after RL Cares came to an agreement with Kirklees Council.
A number of locations had applied to host the facility, that was initially due to be in Bradford. But an independent selection panel decided that a return to the sport’s spiritual home would be the best course of action.
Rugby League was born at the hotel on August 29th, 1895. 21 clubs met at the hotel to agree a breakaway from the Rugby Football Union to enable working-class players to be compensated for wages lost when playing rugby.
The hotel closed in 2013 but was bought by Kirklees council, who hope to make it a key part of the town centre’s redevelopment.
Tim Adams MBE, the Chairman of RL Cares, said: “I am sure everyone in the sport will welcome this decision to establish the National RL Museum at the George Hotel.
“The museum will tell the wonderful story of a sport that remains as important to the communities in which it is played as it was in 1895.
“We are looking forward to working with the members and officers of Kirklees Council to develop a museum that will be the envy of sports around the world in a location that means so much to so many people.
“I would like to thank all the other centres who expressed an interest in hosting the museum: Kirklees Council were not alone in putting forward a compelling case to the selection panel, who deliberated long and hard before handing down their recommendation.
“The interest shown is a testimony to the prestige that comes with being the home of the National RL Museum, and ultimately acknowledges the importance of the George Hotel to Rugby League.
“Our thanks also go to all the members of the independent selection panel who helped us reach this important decision: their wealth of knowledge of the museums landscape and the sport was invaluable.”