16th July 2018, 16:04



A record £10million of government funding made available to improve rugby league facilities for local Clubs and organisations can pre-register for funding now at

The Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021) has today announced its second major initiative from the tournament’s ‘Inspired by 2021’ legacy programme. £10 million will be invested in local clubs and community projects as part of the RLWC2021 Facilities Legacy programme. The government investment, delivered by Sport England, is part of RLWC2021’s ambitious plan to grow the sport and make it more visible, engaging and welcoming to current and potential participants.  

The funding will be split into large transformational community projects, for example refurbishing changing rooms and installing new artificial pitches. The remainder of the funding will be used for smaller-scale initiatives such as supplying new kit or equipment to clubs. All investment will focus on four key areas: creating welcoming environments, encouraging more players, building community engagement and cultivating further investment resulting in an innovation fund for the community game.


Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: "Hosting the Rugby League World Cup is a huge opportunity to promote the sport. We want the tournament to leave a lasting legacy and inspire more people to take part.


“Excellent sports facilities are important in encouraging people to get involved and keep playing. This £10 million government investment will fund new equipment, improve local clubs, and help grow the game."


Chief Executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, Jon Dutton said: “In hosting this tournament it is imperative that we engage and inspire people. The facilities theme of our legacy programme is really focused on ensuring the next generation of rugby league players have the best possible experience and that barriers to participate are removed. The government funding must be used to leverage local match funding and all this investment will go directly into community rugby league. With a new Legacy Programme Manager set to be appointed along with staff to administer the funding, we’re confident that this programme will target the right areas and affect real change.


“The ‘Inspired by 2021’ legacy programme is a multi-dimensional project that will engage children and adults in a non-traditional way and proudly support the sport that’s at the heart of many communities.”

Charles Johnston, Property Director, Sport England, said: "We are proud to be working in partnership to deliver the biggest government investment into grassroots rugby league facilities the country has ever seen. With this funding, communities will gain better access to the facilities, improved infrastructure and essential equipment they need to be active.

“We are pleased the investment will provide benefit to people engaging in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair game, with a focus on those disadvantaged areas where inactivity levels are stubbornly high. By focusing our efforts on increasing participation in the game, we’re ensuring that the Rugby League World Cup's legacy lasts long after the last ball has been kicked and the crowds have gone home." 

The programme was launched in Media City, Salford today. Attended by RLWC2021, RFL, Sport England and DCMS representatives, as well as RLWC2021 ambassador Kevin Sinfield. Interested parties can pre-register for their funding application by visiting


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For more information, please contact Matt Peden or Billy Morton at Hatch Communications on 0113 361 3600 or


Notes to editors



The Rugby League World Cup is the pinnacle major event of rugby league, globally contested every four years.


England 2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair rugby league being staged together for the first time.


The men’s tournament will see 16 teams across four groups compete throughout England in up to 14 cities and towns. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams. 


RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 31 games in the men’s competition being broadcast live on the BBC and every second of the women’s and wheelchair competitions free to watch online. 


Mission: To be the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup


Vision: To create inspirational moments, capturing the imagination of our customers, partners, stakeholders and communities, and to do so in a way that is consistent with our values.


The event vision is underpinned by five strategic goals:


1. To be the most attended and viewed World Cup ever

2. To deliver a profitable tournament

3. To leave a long-lasting legacy

4. To increase profile and visibility for Rugby League

5. To be the most digitally connected entertainment event in 2021



Sport England is a public body and invests up to £300 million National Lottery and government money each year in projects and programmes that help people get active and play sport.


It wants everyone in England, regardless of age, background, or level of ability, to feel able to engage in sport and physical activity. That’s why a lot of its work is specifically focused on helping people who do no, or very little, physical activity and groups who are typically less active - like women, disabled people and people on lower incomes.