Posted: Monday 29th November 2021

Rugby League Resilience Fund given green light

Wakefield Council has published the following statement regarding the Rugby League Resilience Fund being given the green light.

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A £6m funding pot to support the district’s three rugby league clubs, boosting grass roots rugby and community use for other sports – has today been given the green light by senior councillors.

Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Members have approved the new Rugby League Resilience Fund that will offer a grant of up to £2m each for Castleford Tigers, Wakefield Trinity, and Featherstone Rovers.

The funding plan will 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.

Cllr Michael Graham Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “We are very pleased to have made this decision today which recognises that Rugby League is at the heart our towns and city, with a very proud history.  All three clubs have fantastic support from their fans and already make valuable contributions to communities in our district.

“With this new 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.

“At the same time we can help the clubs widen their grass roots reach in the community and create more inclusive facilities that will meet the needs of even more people in our district.

“This can bring many benefits to our district’s health and wellbeing, as well as encouraging young people to aspire to achieve their dreams and goals in life.”

John Minards, Chairman of Wakefield Trinity RLFC, said: “Following several months of positive and productive discussions with Wakefield Council, and Wakefield Trinity, we are delighted with the establishment of the Rugby League Resilience Fund.  For our club, the Fund will make a significant contribution of our stadium redevelopment plans which will themselves bring enormous benefits not just to the club but also to the people and communities of Wakefield.”  

Mark Grattan, Managing Director at Castleford Tigers, said: “All three professional rugby league clubs in the area are so involved at the heart of their communities. Therefore, we at Castleford Tigers are delighted to hear that the Rugby League Resilience Fund has been passed by cabinet, and the Club looks forward to working with Wakefield Council in this regard.”

Mark Campbell, Chairman of Featherstone Rovers stated: “We are extremely grateful to Wakefield Council for this significant support, which is a real shot in the arm for the Club after an extremely challenging period financially for the game of rugby league due to COVID

“The Council know that we have an excellent track record of the continuous development of our Club so that it is sustainable and for our extensive efforts in the community, and this support will enable us to make a huge step change in accelerating our progress in these areas.”

As part of the agreement clubs will need 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, the Council will receive an annual report on the usage 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.