Holmes Miller submits plans for transformational rugby project

HOLMES Miller architects has announced it has submitted a planning application on behalf of the Rugby Football League (RFL) to Manchester City Council for its proposed new education and training facility.

Land off Grey Mare Lane in the Beswick area of the city is the proposed site for a facility that will be shared between Rugby League athletes, community players, coaches and match officials, and young people and adults from the local area.

The plans include a two-storey building and adjacent grass pitch, along with a small pitch-facing stand attached to the main building which would serve as an education and training base.

RFL project lead, Tony Sutton, said, “For 125 years Rugby League has brought a huge range of social and economic benefits to communities in the north of England and beyond. It is a sport with a massive social impact – and now we want to make an impact in east Manchester.

“OurLeague Life is an exciting concept which we hope will become a local focal point for adult education, training and skills, and a catalyst for driving up social mobility through sport. As well as offering a new facility for people in east Manchester, this will be a key educational facility for all the England Rugby League squads such as our men’s, wheelchair and women’s teams.”

OurLeague Life is the name given to the RFL’s proposed series of learning and development ‘hubs’ across the north of England and in time, possibly nationwide.

Ryan Holmes, director at Holmes Miller, said, “The plans submitted detail a sports facility achieving something distinctly different than the status quo. By having elite athletes walking the halls and using the shared facilities alongside the aspiring local young people, the new centre will provide a lot more than simply being a place to train.

“Community and supporting development is core to the design focus of this building. Building on Manchester City Council’s Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy, we want visitors to interact with each other and the space in a way that promotes cohesion and a collective focus on the positive benefits of outdoors space and sports as championed by the Rugby Football League.”