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‘Buy a brick’ appeal launched to help build new community clubhouse

Buy a brick – and help us to build a new clubhouse for the whole community.

That’s the message from West Leeds Amateur Rugby League Club as they seek to raise £130,000 to build a community clubhouse which will ‘help restore pride in a forgotten area’.

They received planning permission in January to convert their existing portacabin changing rooms in Redshaw Road, Armley, into a permanent changing facility and community club annexe.

The club used to train at the adjacent West Leeds Sports and Social Club, which shut down during lockdown and has since been the subject of unsuccessful plans for housing and offices. West Leeds ARLFC’s proposals for a new clubhouse include a kitchen, viewing area, toilets and storage area.

Sam Horner talks through the plans for the site in a video.

Sam Horner, a rugby league development officer for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, said the club already has £50,000 pledged from the Rugby Football League – but needs to secure match funding either through grants or through the community raising the money themselves.

“We’re a small rugby league club in the heart of LS12, providing sporting opportunities for both kids and adults, all genders, from age three upwards.

“We recently lost the use of our existing club house of 25 years, which is due to be redeveloped. Our plans are to create a permanent ‘wraparound’ at our existing temporary changing rooms while creating a larger space for use after games, indoor training, education facilities, and other use by the community.

“The new clubhouse will help provide quality facilities for all our teams. Our youth section actively takes youngsters off the streets and helps keep them out of trouble. They need a decent building. 

“The new building will also help regenerate the area. It’ll be used as a hub for the community to bring people together, improve people’s health and wellbeing in a forgotten area. I’ve already had people asking me when bingo, which used to run in the former club next door, will be starting!”

Mr Horner, who is a trustee and founder member of West Leeds ARLFC, said he was speaking to nearby New Wortley Community Association about running educational courses for people living in LS12.

Cost of the bricks are whatever you can afford. More details of the fundraiser – and how to buy a brick – can be found here.

West Leeds ARLFC have been running a junior rugby club for almost 25 years. They currently run teams from Under 7s to open age, for both males and females. 

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