30th April 2021, 22:01 | therfl
Ralph Rimmer with RFL President Clare Balding OBE and Vice President Mike Smith as the governing body leaves Red Hall
Friday April 30, 2021 has marked the end of an era for the Rugby Football League – the sport’s last day at Red Hall.
The RFL have been based at the handsome Grade II listed building on the Wetherby Road four miles north-east of Leeds, which dates back to the mid-17th Century and is officially known as Red Hall House, since moving there in 1995 – the year of the sport’s centenary – from Chapeltown Road, which had been the governing body’s home since 1922, and was its only previous headquarters.
Having operated from two headquarters since 2014, after the RFL developed a marketing and media office at Media City in Salford either side of hosting the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, the decision was taken in early 2018 to relocate to a new purpose-built home as part of the Sport City development at Manchester’s Etihad Campus.
That move will now be completed in two stages, with the RFL relocating to Quay West in Salford until work on the new RFL headquarters at the Etihad is completed later this year.
Ralph Rimmer, the RFL Chief Executive, said: “It’s a significant day and also a poignant one, especially for those of us who have been with the RFL for some time and therefore have so many fond memories of Red Hall.
“It has been a distinctive base for a National Governing Body, a building which can genuinely be described as iconic, with so much history, and also the feel of the countryside.
“It’s important that we also recognise the RFL’s lengthy connections to Yorkshire and especially Leeds, which has been home to the governing body for almost a century.
“Clearly, those connections are not going to end with this move – Leeds remains a crucial city to the sport of Rugby League, and will have a key role in the Rugby League World Cup later this year.
“And the recent announcement of a National Rugby League Museum at The George Hotel in Huddersfield underlines that the sport will never forget our roots in Yorkshire.
“However the opportunity to move to Sport City which emerged a few years ago was irresistible – the chance to forge fresh history for the RFL in Manchester, to be one of a number of NGBs sharing knowledge on the same campus, and bringing all RFL operations and staff together on to one site presents significant advantages in terms of financial and environmental sustainability. This is about us adapting for the future.
“We hope to make further exciting announcements about our move to Manchester in the coming weeks and months. But today is a day for us to remember our 25 years at Red Hall, and our 99 years in the city of Leeds.”