Bid to bring rugby league back to where it all started

Kirklees Council is officially bidding to create a National Rugby League Museum in the Huddersfield hotel where the sport was born 125 years ago.

The council announced in March this year that it had agreed a deal in principle to purchase the George Hotel in Huddersfield Town Centre.

The grade two-listed hotel, which was built in 1851, was where the meeting that founded Rugby League in 1895 was held.

Kirklees Council can now reveal that it is this week submitting a bid to bring a National Rugby League Museum to the George Hotel as part of it £250million Huddersfield Blueprint regeneration vision for the town.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “A huge part of delivering our £250million Huddersfield Blueprint vision is bringing the George Hotel back to life.

“We asked people what they wanted to see as part of the Huddersfield Blueprint and they told us to get this building back open and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

“This is more than a building, it’s an iconic part of Huddersfield as a town and Rugby League as a sport. Bringing a National Rugby League Museum to where it all began in 1895 would be an amazing moment for the town and the sport itself.”


Councillor Peter McBride, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “By purchasing the George Hotel we are able to make sure it has a permanent place in our plans 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.

“It’s so important that we have somewhere for the history of this great sport to be celebrated and there is no better place than the birthplace of the sport.”

The deadline to submit expressions of interest to Rugby League Cares to create a National Rugby League Museum is 28 May 2020. Announcements will be made by Rugby League Cares in the coming months.


  • Hi Richard, we’re still completing the deal but will be able to announce this in the coming weeks. Kind Regards^CP

  • It’s brilliant but maybe you should look at the Shankley Hotel in Liverpool and see what they have done to celebrate Bill Shankley I’m sure that the George Hotel would be great done similar to that.

  • A key issue is parking ….. why don’t you convert the bottom end of St George’s Square, which is just an empty, unused space into parking for the hotel? Nicely landscaped it could bring life back to this end of town.

  • Suzanna Kristian-Wilson

    I think it is a wonderful idea but still should incorporate some of the hotel’s older features.

  • Any scheme for The George Hotel will need to provide free holiday car parking for Councillors who need to catch the train to the airport. As required in the past.?

  • Neil Stonehouse

    Great idea this me and Sue had our wedding at the George hotel in 2003 wedding meal was in the then RL History room great day, To see the hotel back open has a museum would be fantastic

  • I agree let’s do this.Good to have a museum element but may be as a conference centre with accommodation as well?

  • It would be fantastic to get this beautiful building back in to use.


    Great news hope it goes through – Huddersfield is in a real mess although we live in Holmfirth we NEVER go to Huddersfield. Barnsley is far better lots of development in the town & free parking at weekends and bank holidays. Come on Huddersfield lets get it moving so we can then visit our OWN town again.

  • Why is the council not disclosing how much it paid for The George?

  • Patricia Benatmane

    Fantastic news.

  • Mick Littlewood

    The George Hotel has always been an important venue for visitors and locals alike
    My Grandad was the weekly resident Dance band back in the 60’s(Clifford Smith Quartette) and was THE place to stay and meet up so hope that KMCs plans will be build on the hotels heritage and will include other uses inc bringing the hotel accommodation and use for weddings and family functions/parties etc back into use

  • Seeing a museum from where RL began will be an amazing fete!! I also feel very strongly that there should be some feature for the Huddersfield born movie legend James Mason, I cannot believe nothing at all has Bn done for him!! We have many famous people of sports too + a Prime Minister who served 2 terms!! Surely all these incredible worldwide achievements should also have a place in our beautiful George Hotel???

  • Michael Senior

    It would be great to have the George hotel reopened as a rugby league museum. Let it be run by the charity rugby league cares

  • Frances jackson

    It still needs to be a hotel for players and supporters visiting the town as well as museum

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