Support has come from across the city for a West Leeds rugby club’s plans for a new community clubhouse and changing facilities.
West Leeds ARLFC wants to convert the existing temporary portacabin changing rooms in Redshaw Road, New Wortley, into a permanent changing facility and community club annexe.
Their proposals include a kitchen, viewing area, toilets and storage area, as well as providing additional off-street parking to reduce the impact on neighbouring properties.
West Leeds Eagles operates a number of teams from under sevens to open age and also supports the activity of many other groups in the community. They used to meet in the adjoining West Leeds Sports and Social Club until it closed.
Letters of support for the plans have been submitted by people from across West Leeds and as far away as Yeadon and Swarcliffe. One supporter said:
“The new club will be a fantastic asset to the community, being able to provide a safe place for children and adults to learn how to communicate how to be leaders and team players whilst also learning the art of sport. It will help keep children and adults active in line with the government/nhs proposal of getting diet and lifestyle. I think that the club is only a good thing!”
Another supporter added:
“Since the social club was closed to the rugby club, hundreds of people, from the ages of six to OAPs, have had no social club to attend during evenings weekends, with players, supporters and volunteers having no HQ in which to meet when games, training activities have been organised.
“On match days, opposition teams have had to return home without having an opportunity of meeting local people after games at the rugby club.
“A social meeting place, or hospitality building is desperately needed, not only for local residents to take an active part in club activities, but also to enable the rugby club to provide more services and functions so same. Younger people now have no place to gather, and such a complex/building would go a very long way in preventing the recent outbreak of vandalism by bored youngsters in the area.”
“As a Trustee of the charity West Leeds ARLFC, this facility will be an essential part of the Community of Armley and Leeds 12, to inspire future generations through the great game of Rugby League.
“Its usage will go beyond sport and bring to the community a place for families to flourish.”
A design statement accompanying a planning application, submitted to Leeds City Council to decide, states:
“Since the closure of the working men’s club, the area has become a wasteland attracting litter, vandalism and crime. By placing a key community facility on the site, this will restore some pride in this area and give purpose to a forgotten location.
“It is felt that providing this building on this location will benefit the entire community and have a positive impact on local children and adults whilst also enhancing views along Redshaw Road.”
The proposals are currently going through the planning process with Leeds City Council.
In January developers West Leeds Working Men’s Club withdrew plans to demolish the club next door and build ten houses in the area. The withdrawal followed concerns by the council over the loss of a building used by the community. The club, off Redshaw Road, currently sits empty and unused and has been subjected to vandalism.
West Leeds Eagles’ plans can be viewed in full here.
WLD previously reported on the plans in June.
West Leeds Eagles have been running a junior rugby club for almost 25 years, providing community activity in one of Leeds’s most deprived wards. They currently run teams from Under 7s to open age, for both male and female players.