Rugby centre of excellence plan for former Wyke Manor School site (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Rugby centre of excellence plan for former Wyke Manor School site
Grassroots sport could be given a major boost under plans to demolish most of a former school in Bradford and create a Rugby League centre of excellence.
Bradford Council is in discussions with the Rugby Football League, Sport England and The Football Foundation over the decommissioning of the former Wyke Manor School in Wilson Road, Wyke, to create the new centre.
Councillor Ralph Berry, portfolio holder for children’s services, said the proposals would help deal with the “chronic shortage” of sporting facilities in Bradford, particularly for junior teams.
He said that under the draft proposals, the school buildings would be demolished apart from the sports centre which would be used as a headquarters for the rugby centre of excellence.
The rest of the land would be used for sports pitches for grassroots and junior Rugby League and other sports.
A joint report is being prepared between the Council’s sport and leisure and children's services departments, which is expected to be presented to the Council’s Executive meeting next month.
Coun Berry said the project was at a “fairly advanced” stage, but no planning application has yet been put forward for the demolition and redevelopment.
A spokesman for the Rugby Football League said: “Preliminary talks have taken place between the RFL and Bradford Council regarding this site.
“We are always open to opportunities to improve and develop Rugby League facilities across the country as part of our commitment to providing the best possible environment for participants.”
Councillor Andrew Thornton, portfolio holder for environment, sport and sustainability, said: “There is a need for additional high-quality sports provision in the area and the opportunity that the site presents is worth pursuing.
“We have had some preliminary conversations about the site but detailed discussions with local sports teams and sporting bodies would come after the Executive has considered the issue.”
Wyke Manor became Appleton Academy in 2009 when its pupils were merged with those of High Fearnley Primary School to create a through-age school. Secondary pupils and staff will move from the Wyke Manor premises into the newly-built school after the half-term break.