Wigan bid for Rugby League museum

Wigan has joined Huddersfield in the bid to become the host of Rugby League’s national museum.

It’s claimed the proposed attraction, which would be based at Robin Park, close to the DW Stadium, would be “world class”.

A joint initiative has been launched by Wigan Council and Wigan Warriors, whose Chairman Ian Lenagan (pictured) said: “Wigan is the best-known name in Rugby League worldwide and it’s right the museum should be here.”

The Wigan bid includes interactive experiences detailing the sport’s origins and history aimed at engaging a new, younger fanbase for Rugby League.

The town wanted to set up the museum four years ago, but Bradford was chosen.

However, after little progress, Rugby League Cares announced that the application process would be reopened.

An independent panel will decide the location.

Kirklees Council is bidding to create the museum at Huddersfield’s historic George Hotel, the birthplace of Rugby League, which has stood empty since 2013.

In March, Kirklees Council agreed a deal in principle to purchase the grade two-listed building.

The hotel was built in 1851, and in August 1895, was the venue for the meeting at which the Northern Union (later the Rugby Football League) was formed.

Both Huddersfield and Wigan were founder clubs.

Creating the National Rugby League Museum is part of Kirklees Council’s ten-year £250m ‘Huddersfield Blueprint’ town-centre regeneration scheme.

The University of Huddersfield already stores an extensive Rugby League archive at its Heritage Quay facility.

Former Dewsbury and Great Britain player and Sky Sports pundit Mike Stephenson created a personal museum at the George Hotel, but that ended with its closure.