A £6m funding pot could be set up to support the district’s three rugby league clubs, boosting grass roots rugby and community use for other sports – if proposals get the go ahead from senior councillors.
The new Rugby League Resilience Fund would offer a grant of up to £2m each for Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity and Featherstone Rovers. It would support all three clubs to meet the current, and potential future, Rugby Football League (RFL) conditions on stadium facilities as well as improving community use at the sites.
Commenting on the proposal for the new Rugby Resilience Fund, the Leader of Wakefield Council, Cllr Denise Jeffery said: “This district’s long and passionate history of rugby league is well documented. My Cabinet colleagues and I, are extremely proud of this heritage and fully support the important part rugby league plays in this district.
“I know full well that there are strong allegiances to all three clubs and the desire for all our rugby league clubs to thrive at the highest level is something we absolutely want to see.
“By offering this support to Wakefield Trinity, Castleford Tigers and Featherstone Rovers, we can help prolong the heritage of potential Super League rugby being played in the district.
“However, it is just as important that we can help the clubs widen their grass roots reach in the community and create more inclusive facilties that will meet the needs of even more people in our district.
“All three rugby league clubs are ‘Community Clubs’ and do excellent work with children and adults across a wide range of local groups and clubs. Helping the rugby league clubs increase this community use, across a range of sports, can play such an important part in improving the health and wellbeing of our district. This clearly shows the crucial social value of our rugby league hertitage.”
The report sets out the need for the clubs to produce and deliver a Community Use Strategy as part of the funding agreement. This would show how the clubs will increase community use and support and encourage the growth of grass roots rugby league.
As part of this, it is proposed that the Council recieves an annual report on the usgae and the wider impact of the usage on the community. The Council would also work with the clubs to ensure they are able to demonstrate real impacts on health from the community activity it carries out.
The Rugby League Resilience Fund report will be discussed by Wakefield Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on Monday 29 November at 10.30am. The meeting can be watched live or later on the Council’s website.