Ex-school may try for rugby future

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A FORMER school site near a chemical factory could become a Rugby League centre of excellence if councillors give the plan the go ahead.

Bradford Council’s executive is to debate the future of the former Wyke Manor site which is now empty after the school was replaced by the Appleton Academy which moved into new facilities this term.

One of the options being considered at a meeting next week is to create a £1.5m centre of excellence for local rugby and football clubs. Councillors will be told the authority could contribute just short of £500,000 and look for match funding from organisations such as Sport England, the Rugby Football League or the Football Foundation.

The council’s executive meeting next Tuesday will also discuss paying for the entire cost of the scheme but recoup some of this money by selling part of the site.

Other options include simply decommissioning the buildings or demolishing them to create a public open space.

Because the site is so close to a chemical factory the Health and Safety Executive has said that any housing development on the site would be limited to 29 properties.

Ian Bairstow, strategic director for environment and sport, said: “There are a number of local rugby league and football clubs in the area who would benefit from better facilities so a new sports ground would be a great boost for them if we can secure the match funding required.”