A £25m pledge to support the Rugby League World Cup when it returns to Wigan and Leigh has been welcomed by Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue.
Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry has confirmed the government will be supporting the Rugby Football League’s efforts to host the tournament in 2021.
The announcement was made at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group, of which Mrs Fovargue is a member, along with Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith and St Helens South MP Marie Rimmer.
This includes £15m for the actual staging of the tournament and another £10m for rugby league infrastructure.
Mrs Fovargue said: “These are two towns synonymous with rugby league heritage.
“From Alex Murphy to Billy Boston, the game’s greats have taken to the field in the colours of Leigh and Wigan and I know fans across the borough will put to one side their traditional rivalry to join together in bringing international rugby league to the DW Stadium and Leigh Sports Village.
“These two iconic clubs are supported by a rich network of amateur rugby league clubs that have provided a conveyor belt of talent over the decades and produced many of the legends of our game.
“But aside from the prospect of fantastic clashes on the pitch, this borough is so much more. It has a vibrant mixture of fantastic amenities including shopping facilities, a vast array of pubs, clubs and restaurants, accommodation, plus tranquil parks and countryside.”
Mr Berry said: “The government is delighted to support the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England, and it will be fitting to see the tournament brought back to the sport’s heartlands in the north of England.
“The tournament will be a fantastic spectacle, and will bring economic benefits to host towns and cities across the Northern Powerhouse.”
Mr Berry has pledged to work closely with the RFL, the Rugby League International Federation and UK Sport on the bid.