Leeds & West Yorkshire

Huddersfield's George Hotel: Rugby league birthplace sold

George Hotel
Image caption The founding meeting of the rugby league was held at the George Hotel in 1895

A Grade II-listed hotel, regarded as the birthplace of rugby league, has been sold for an undisclosed sum four months after it went into receivership.

The founding meeting of the rugby league was held at the 60-bed George Hotel in Huddersfield in 1895.

The new owner, dentist and property developer Dr Altaf Hussain, said he intended to restore and upgrade it.

The hotel was closed and put on the market for offers in excess of £900,000 in January.

Dr Hussain, director of Northpoint Living Developments, said he planned to reopen the hotel "within a short timescale", while exploring "other development possibilities".

"Providing additional commercial uses... will be paramount to mitigating the substantial overheads involved in running such a hotel," he added.

But Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman said he was worried the building could eventually be turned into student flats.

"I was planning to come up with a solution so that rugby league fans owned the hotel and were in control of its future," he said.

The Victorian hotel was built about 1851, and is next to the town's railway station.

On 29 August, 1895, 21 northern rugby clubs held a meeting and voted to secede from the Rugby Football Union to set up the Northern Union - which was renamed the Rugby Football League in 1922.

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