Rugby Oldham is an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – Registration Number 29986R. We are a non-profit making organisation, essentially operating as a democratic ‘one member one vote’ co-operative.
Volunteers for the Trust’s Working Party in August 2005 elected an initial board structure to take us forward to our first Annual General Meeting at which point we held full and democratic elections.
Established in August 2005 as a Rugby League Community Trust, our main initial aims and objectives are summarised below:
‘To improve the future of Rugby League at all levels in Oldham and District’
Original Aims & Objectives
- To develop a Pro-Am rugby league stadium in Oldham.
- To ensure that any stadium remains secure in trust for future generations.
- To ensure that the stadium encompasses leisure facilities available to be used by the wider community.
- To help strengthen the bonds between the RL community at all levels by;
- Ensuring that the stadium is used as a community based facility on an unprecedented scale.
- Creating a central base for RL in Oldham to be used by amateur clubs, schools etc.
- Supporting and promoting community development work.
Changed Circumstances 2007
Whilst providing such a stadium remains central to the Trust’s vision, the 2007 statement by the pro club that it intended to build a stadium itself meant that the immediate focus of the Trust moved, at least for the time being, more in the direction of both representing the views of supporters and supporting community development work.
However, it is important to stress that the overall long-term objectives of the Trust remain unchanged.
Whitebank Stadium – 2011
In 2011 Oldham RLFC (1997) Ltd. secured tenancy of Whitebank Stadium at Limeside. This is in much need of renovation in order to bring it up to RFL minimum standards. In September 2011 Rugby Oldham made an unspecified commitment to contribute financially to proposed terracing down the Whitebank Road side of the ground. There has as yet been no progress towards achieving this goal. See the regular Newsletters, available elsewhere on this website, for periodic updates given to members of the Trust on the progress of ground development discussions.
After surrendering the lease on the Whitebank Stadium and opting to play matches at Bower Fold, Stalybridge following promotion to the Championship Oldham RLFC were once again without a home to call their own. Avro FC took over the lease from Oldham Council and with investment from the FA were able to carry out considerable ground improvements, including the installation of a 3G playing surface. Following relegation to Championship 1 Oldham returned as sub-tenants of Avro FC to what is now called the Vestacare Stadium. The ground was accepted as suitable for Championship 1 rugby by the RFL but may be deemed unacceptable for Championship football should Oldham be promoted again. This still leaves the club in a state of limbo as it has no ground of its own and could, once again, be forced to play outside the borough.
The Trust currently enjoys a more open relationship with the professional club than ever before and its primary aim of securing a ground within the borough remains a priority and we continue to work towards this end.
The work of the trust is far reaching, and we are involved with the promotion and advancement of the game at all levels in the town and surrounding areas. We work with the game from schools level through to open age in the amateur section, and hope to add additional work with the senior club over the coming months.