A heritage project looking into the history of Batley Bulldogs RLFC will be launched following an £85,300 windfall which coincides with the 120th anniversary of the club’s victory in the first ever Challenge Cup final.
The money , courtesy of the National Lottery, will be used to research the history of the club, develop a standalone website, increase the hours of club volunteers within the community and deliver an educational programme to 1,000 school children
There will also be the development of a hall of fame and a display of memorabilia and artefacts, while each player to have represented the first team will be awarded a heritage number.
Named ‘Gallant Youths from the Mountain Top’ in honour of the heroes of 1897 who lifted the first knock-out trophy, the scheme is being spearheaded by Batley Sporting Charitable Trust and managed by the club’s record try scorer, Craig Lingard.
With plans for Wakefield Trinity to leave Belle Vue at the end of the season, Batley’s Mount Pleasant will then become the oldest continuous rugby league ground in the world, giving the project an even greater importance, according to those involved.
Batley Sporting Charitable Trust chairman, Beverley Nicholas, said: “We are delighted to have received the support and funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to research the history of this proud club. The rugby club has played an integral part in the town of Batley through the years and this is a great opportunity for us to be able to celebrate that. This project will allow us to connect and educate a whole new generation of young Batley people about the history of the club whilst at the same time increasing voluntary hours and engagement within the community.”
The project will be officially launched in The Ron Earnshaw Lounge at The Fox’s Biscuits Stadium on Monday, April 24, starting at 7pm.