Rugby council says shutting the Hall of Fame will free up funds to help with the borough's recovery

The council said they had looked at every option

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:46 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 4:48 pm
The Hall of Fame, file image.

Rugby council has responded to a report published by the Advertiser this morning which revealed that the Hall of Fame is likely to close.

Freeing much-needed funds for the borough's recovery after the pandemic is the chief reason it has cited for the plan.

A secret council report on the future of the town centre attraction was considered behind closed doors at Rugby council's cabinet meeting on March 1.

And, the Advertiser learned, cabinet had agreed that it was best for the council to not renew its contract with World Rugby.

The final decision is set to be made behind closed doors at Rugby's full council meeting, scheduled for March 16.

The Advertiser understands it is extremely likely that councillors will support the move to not renew the contract, and thus shutting the attraction.

Responding to this morning's report, a spokesperson from the council said: "The venue opened in November 2016 and the initial four-year licence agreement ended in November 2020.

"Rugby Borough Council had been open to negotiating a new extended licence but a final agreement could not be reached."

Cllr Seb Lowe, leader of the council, said: “The reality is that with limited funding we cannot choose to keep the World Rugby Hall of Fame open over support for economic recovery, tackling climate change or promoting health and wellbeing.

“We have looked at every option and discussed every scenario, including other funding models and other venues.

“We will of course continue to support the special relationship that Rugby has with the game as its birthplace.

“I look forward to working with partners on plans to mark 200 years since the game of Rugby was founded here in 1823.”