By KLTV Newsdesk
Kirklees Council announced yesterday that they have agreed on a deal to purchase Huddersfield’s George Hotel after submitting a bid to create a National Rugby League Museum in the building – where the sport was born.
The Grade II-listed George Hotel in Huddersfield is famous for being the birthplace of rugby league in 1895, where the meeting that formed the league was held.
The hotel was built in 1851 and closed in January 2013. It has remained closed ever since.
The deal, which was announced in March, forms part of the Council’s Huddersfield Blueprint vision, which has ambitions to bring the building back into use.
In May the council submitted a bid to create a National Rugby League Museum within the building.
Announcements are expected to be made by Rugby League Cares shortly.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “When we launched the Huddersfield Blueprint, we said we were committed to getting 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.”
Cllr Pandor reiterated that the Hotel is a crucial part of the council’s plans for rejuvenating Huddersfield’s town centre and that they will be investing heavily in making it a reality.
He added: “I’m delighted that we can now complete the purchase and bring the George Hotel back to life.”
Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, 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.”
Cllr McBride added that the George Hotel will be part of a larger revitalisation of St George’s Square, which will include a revamped train station, an improved public space and more heritage buildings being brought back into use.
He said: “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.”