National Rugby League Museum

Rugby League Cares is working alongside Bradford Council to open the sport’s first-ever National Rugby League Museum in the city in 2021.

The funding application process is at an advanced stage for the museum, which will take pride of place within Bradford City Hall opposite City Park, a multi-award winning public space which is home to the UK’s largest urban water feature.

Bradford was selected as the home of Rugby League’s first ever National Museum following an extensive consultation process and involving local authorities, the Rugby Football League and other key stakeholders.

Bradford beat off stiff competition from a number of major towns and cities to host the museum, which will house and display the sport’s extensive collections and historical artefacts, as well as being a world-class, interactive visitor attraction.

Chris Rostron, the Head of Rugby League Cares, said: “Through all our discussions with Bradford city council and its officers we have been overwhelmed by the positivity for this very prestigious project.  The city’s commitment to working with Rugby League Cares to help us realise our ambitions to make the museum a world-class attraction shone through from Day 1.

“Bradford’s enthusiasm to host the National Rugby League Museum is matched by the energy within a city which is rapidly becoming one of the UK’s top destination venues: our location in City Hall could not be more central or accessible.”

Rugby League’s links with Bradford are well established: the Manningham club were founder members of the Northern Union in 1895 before switching  codes and changing their name to Bradford City.

Bradford still holds the record for the biggest crowd for a rugby match in the UK of 102,575 for the 1954 Challenge Cup final replay, Halifax v Warrington at Odsal Stadium. And in Super League, Bradford Bulls are one of the most successful clubs of the summer rugby era with six Grand Final appearances, including three wins.

The city is well-served by the transport network with good rail and road connections across the North of England and features a host of attractions including the National Media Museum, Cartwright Hall and Impressions gallery and a world-famous selection of Asian restaurants.