RFL leaves Leeds - Red Hall headquarters to become cosmetic surgery hospital after £1.65m sale

After almost a century, the Rugby Football League (RFL) has moved out of Leeds.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 6:00 am
RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer with the sport's president Clare Balding and vice-president Mike Smith at Red Hall. Picture by RFL.

The governing body has sold its Red Hall headquarters, on Wetherby Road, four miles out of the city centre, for more than £1.65m and moved to a temporary base at Salford.

It will relocate to permanent offices as part of the Sport City development at Manchester’s Etihad Campus later this year.

Friday was the sport’s final day at Red Hall, which it had occupied since 1995. Before that, the RFL was based at Chapeltown Road in Leeds its first headquarters, since 1922.

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Red Hall has been purchased by Dr Faisal Arshad, lead surgeon at the Hair Dr transplant clinic, in order to establish a private cosmetic surgery hospital.

The RFL were advised on the deal by the commercial property team at Leeds-based Blacks Solicitors.

RFL chief executive Ralph Rimmer described the move out of Leeds as a “significant day and also a poignant one, especially for those of us who have been with the RFL for some time and therefore have so many fond memories of Red Hall”.

He added: “It has been a distinctive base for a national governing body, a building which can genuinely be described as iconic, with so much history and also the feel of the countryside.

“It’s important that we also recognise the RFL’s lengthy connections to Yorkshire and especially Leeds, which has been home to the governing body for almost a century.

“Clearly, those connections are not going to end with this move. Leeds remains a crucial city to the sport of rugby league, and will have a key role in the Rugby League World Cup later this year.

“The recent announcement of a national rugby league museum at the George Hotel in Huddersfield underlines that the sport will never forget our roots in Yorkshire.”

New owner Arshad said: “The Hair Dr Clinic is expanding quickly and we have outgrown our current premises.

"The majestic Grade II Red Hall is absolutely perfect and it is humbling to be moving into such a magnificent building with such an illustrious history.”

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