Huddersfield Rugby League Legacy Project Receives Heritage Lottery Fund Grant
The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has granted just under £100,000 to Huddersfield Rugby League: A Lasting Legacy, a heritage project run by the Huddersfield Sporting Pride Community Trust, which manages community activities for Huddersfield Giants.
The project, which starts immediately, will run until November 2014. It will celebrate and record the history and heritage of professional and amateur rugby league in Huddersfield, while commemorating some impending and significant anniversaries. These include the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Huddersfield club in 2014, and the centenary of the club's Team of all Talents, one of only three teams to win all four available trophies in the same season - 1914-15. The project will also mark the anniversary of the start of World War I and its impact on the people of Huddersfield as well as raising the profile of Huddersfield as the birthplace of rugby league – at the George Hotel in 1895 – and of the Rugby League Heritage Centre, one of the UK's major national sporting museums, which is housed there.
Chris Tomlinson, the Huddersfield Community Trust's Business Development Manager, said: "We're delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this grant. Many organisations have pledged to work with us, from the local amateur clubs to the Imperial War Museum. We plan to engage people from 7 to 97 and to increase their sense of civic identity through to town's rugby league heritage."
Local people, including schoolchildren and university students, will be trained in archiving, oral history and digitisation techniques, then participate in the collection and storing of memorabilia and memories. Displays of memorabilia will include a three-month exhibition in 2013 at Huddersfield's prestigious Tolson Museum and an on-line museum, accessed via the Huddersfield Giants website. Project publications will include local trails, a local history scheme of work for Primary Schools, collectors' cards and two books. The books will be about rugby league information unearthed by the project and, filling a gap in the market, the first about Huddersfield in World War I. A trail of the museum will also be included as part of the schools' scheme and also distributed in leaflet form to local tourist information outlets.
Fiona Spiers, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber said: "We are delighted to support this project which will honour Huddersfield's important connection to the birth of rugby league while engaging the community and people of all ages in this fascinating part of their history."
Richard Thewlis Managing Director of the Huddersfield Giants said "It has been a wonderful achievement by the community team to put this successful bid together for the legacy of rugby league in this area. The interaction with the local community for this project is immense and I look forward to watching it develop and educate the youngsters in area of our rich tradition in Huddersfield of rugby league."
Could you help the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to discover Yorkshire's enormous heritage potential? This year  HLF is looking to recruit four new committee members to join its Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber. Made up of local people across the region, a place on the committee represents an exciting and challenging opportunity for individuals with a strong commitment to our diverse heritage. From April all HLF regional committees will have responsibility for awarding grants between £100,000 and £2million and acting as advocates for the value of heritage to modern life at every stage of the grant process. For more information on how to apply, call 0113 388 8030 or email FionaS@hlf.org.uk.