The RFL today welcomes the announcement by RLWC2021 of three major new Large Grants projects which take the total CreatedBy investment into grassroots facilities beyond £10m as “the perfect start to Grand Final day”.
November 27 will be the date of the historic World Cup double header of Men’s and Women’s Finals at Old Trafford in 2021, and RLWC2021 have marked that milestone by revealing details of significant investments at Siddal in Halifax, Thatto Heath in St Helens, and Victoria Park in Warrington – which is to be a focus for the Physical Disability World Cup next autumn.
Ralph Rimmer, the Chief Executive of the Rugby Football League, said: “In a year of unique challenges, the sport has never known a day like this.
“It will end with the Betfred Super League Grand Final, which represents the culmination not only of some outstanding playing careers, but also of a huge team effort between clubs, administrators, sponsors and broadcasters and most of all the players and match officials to get the 2020 restarted in the summer and now completed in November.
“But November 27 begins with a reminder of how significant this day will be for Rugby League in 2021.
“We are proud of the work we do publicly and behind the scenes with RLWC2021, and thrilled by the positive announcements they have been able to make in recent weeks around ticket sales and sponsorship.
“The CreatedBy programme is a great example both of RLWC2021, The RFL, DCMS and Sport England working hand in glove, and of the enduring impact that next year’s festival of Rugby League will leave for the sport in this country, as part of the wider InspirationALL social impact initiative.
“The £10m that was pledged by Government for the investment in facilities was a huge statement of intent, and we repeat our gratitude for that and also to Sport England for their ongoing support – as well as to the numerous local bodies who have added significantly to the central funding pot, to further magnify the impact.’
Jon Dutton, Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, said: “With exactly a year to go until our finals at Old Trafford our social impact programme is really making a difference. To achieve £10million worth of new projects that will leave a long-lasting legacy in community rugby league is fantastic. As a tournament with a purpose we are dedicated to using the next twelve months to continue this much needed investment programme through the pledge that UK Government have made to the tournament.
“The three latest projects are a celebration of partners working together for the greater good and I would like to place on record my thanks to Warrington Council, St Helens Council along with representatives of Thatto Heath Crusaders and Siddal who have worked tirelessly to find the match funding to enable the projects to become a reality.
“We are confident that these new developments will become an essential part of their respective communities, offering future generations of the rugby league family a place to develop, while also having a positive impact on the larger community. Rugby League World Cup 2021 would like to wish all the projects and clubs the very best of success and we look forward to seeing the finished outcomes.”
Sport England Director of Property Charles Johnston said: “In working to ensure the legacy of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 is as impactful as possible, it is brilliant to see more life-changing investments into community clubs and organisations within the regions which will play a part in hosting the event.
“These investments will be instrumental in impacting how local communities engage with Rugby League, and I echo Jon’s thoughts in looking forward to seeing the developments come to life.”
The latest Large Grants have been awarded as follows:
Thatto Heath Crusaders (St Helens) – The project will see the club convert an existing grass pitch to a carpet hybrid pitch, allowing for greater usage across the club’s teams, while increasing levels of participation in the local community. The project will also aim to combat fixture cancellation due to bad weather. Match quality floodlighting will be installed to maximise the potential use of the pitch. The facility will develop an improved Rugby League offer to support increasing participation in adult females, as well as the development of a girls’ pathway.
Siddal ARLFC (Halifax) – The grant will be used to convert an existing grass pitch to a carpet hybrid pitch with floodlighting, providing Siddal with more pitch capacity to accommodate all its rugby league activity. This will lead to increased levels of participation (training and match play) in the local community, while reducing the amount spent on hiring external training facilities due to an unplayable pitch. Greater opportunity to play rugby league will provide more opportunities for women and girls and develop a sustainable pathway for this area.
Victoria Park ARLFC (Warrington) – The project will see £600,000 investment for the creation of a new 3G pitch. The investment will transform the club into a community Hub for the development and growth of Rugby League in Warrington. The club has fantastic community backing and is in partnership with Warrington Borough Council and supported by Warrington Wolves Foundation. The grant is to be used to help grow Physical Disability Rugby League (PDRL), Learning Disability Rugby League (LDRL) and women’s and girls’ Rugby League. The site will also be the home of all fixtures for the PDRL World Cup, apart from the final, in 2021.