In 1895 a group of rugby clubs decided they wanted to pay their players.
So, in a meeting at the George Hotel in Huddersfield these clubs broke away and formed the Northern Union.
This would go on to develop as the sport we all know and love today rugby league and its birthplace still stands proudly in Huddersfield today just outside the train station.
In years gone by there was a rugby league museum situated there but now any hopes of seeing that again have been squandered with the local council finalising an agreement with a Hotel company which seems likely to end any hope of a rugby league museum at the birthplace of the sport.
In a statement, they said:
“We have finalised the agreement with Radisson Hotel Group to bring their Radisson RED brand to Huddersfield as the operators of the George Hotel.
“The George Hotel is a vital part of Huddersfield’s heritage. It is in a highly prominent location on St George’s Square and close to Huddersfield Railway Station. Radisson RED Huddersfield is set to open in winter 2024/25 following an extensive restoration and refurbishment of the historic property, originally built in 1851. Work is underway to restore and enhance the building’s grandeur, while incorporating the unique and distinctive bold design of the Radisson RED brand.”
Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said:
“I am genuinely excited and proud that we have taken a dilapidated and redundant building and are about to turn it into something that our residents will be proud of.
“The George Hotel was once the jewel in Huddersfield’s crown, and I am determined to see it restored to its rightful position in the town. We have ambitious plans for Huddersfield town centre, plans that will attract visitors from near and far. Having a hotel, of the quality that the Radisson RED brand brings, close to travel connections will only add to the appeal of a revitalised, vibrant destination.
“The Radisson Hotel Group brings with it the professionalism and expertise needed to make sure the hotel thrives, and I am delighted to be working with such a giant of the hospitality industry on this project. Radisson RED is a multinational brand with hotels all over the world. Their commitment to invest in Huddersfield demonstrates that we are on the right path with our regeneration plans. A company of such stature choosing to come to Huddersfield is something we should all be proud of.
“Along with the Cultural Heart and the overall Huddersfield Blueprint, we are taking action to stop the decline of the town. High streets up and down the country have to look for ways to keep town centres alive, what we are doing in Huddersfield could set a great example to many.
“Kirklees is open for business and we will continue to invest in and regenerate our much loved historic buildings.”