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Pictured above on the left is the official opening of St Cuthberts brand new clubhouse facility part funded through the RFL's Community Club Development Programme allocation.

On the right is the inside of a Training Barn also part funded through the RFL's CCDP funding.


The Facilities Trust was established in 2009 to support the development of Rugby League through investment in facilities.

The first meeting of the Trust was held on the 9 February 2009 at Red Hall, Leeds.

The Facilities Trust is a registered charity with a Board consisting of independent members and Rugby Football League staff. No more than three RFL staff may be members of the Facilities Trust Board at any one time.


The Facilities Trust oversees the investment of two funds:

  • The Whole Sport Plan Capital Fund
  • The RFL Capital Fund




Philip Jones - CHAIR

philip jones

Philip has over 35 years experience at senior level in a fast moving complex retail environment and is a highly regarded Executive and Board member with strong commercial and business knowledge

Prior to his decision to take early retirement in 2008 Philip was the Company Secretary of United Co-operatives, the largest independent co-operative society in the UK, employing circa 16,000 staff with a turnover exceeding £2billion and operating over 1000 retail outlets within Food, Travel, Pharmacy, Motor and Funerals.

In 2007 Philip was involved in bringing about the merger of United Co-operatives with the Co-operative Group which formed the world’s largest consumer co-operative with a turnover of over £9billion and employing in excess of 80,000 staff.

Employed by the Co-operative Movement for over 35 years, he commenced his early career within food retail management before progressing to senior management positions within personnel and training. A graduate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, he was appointed to the position of Employment and Corporate Affairs Controller in 1992.

In 1994 he was appointed Secretary of the then United Norwest Society and Head of its Employee and Corporate Services Division. On the merger of United Norwest and Yorkshire Co-operative societies in September 2002 he was appointed Secretary of the new society and Head of its Corporate Services Division with responsibility for Legal Services, Secretariat, Co-operative Affairs (encompassing Public Relations and Member Relations), Health & Safety, Pensions and Security.

He has held a number of national positions within the Co-operative Movement including; Chair/Vice chair of the Co-operative Employers Association (involved with negotiating employment terms for over 80,000 employees), Chairman of the Co-operative National Health and Safety Executive and a key member of the Co-operatives UK Corporate Governance Review Group, which was responsible for reviewing and implementing a new Corporate Governance Code of Best Practice for the Co-operative Movement.

Philip was also a Non Executive Director of Progress Housing Group (PHG) a major Housing Association in the North West, a position he held for over 10 years taking up appointments as the Chairman of its Audit Committee, and Remuneration Committee during that time. He was appointed Chairman of the PHG Board in September 2006 and took up the position of Vice President at the end of 2012.

Since his retirement from full time employment he has taken up a number of Directorships of small businesses within the North West and has been appointed to the Boards of a number of local charities including St Catherines Hospice in Preston

He has two sons, lives in Wigan and in his (occasional) spare time enjoys watching and supporting Rugby League.

David Gent


David is the RFL Director of Participation and Strategic Partnerships and leads the RFL Community Development team.

David has worked in facility development and management in Local Government, Sport England and Governing Bodies of Sport at a senior level with experience in the design, building and management of major stadia to local community facilities.

He is also the team manager of a junior team at Bradford Dudley Hill RLFC so week in, week out gets to see the quality of local club facilities.

Ralph Rimmer

ralph rimmer

Ralph’s career in Rugby League started in South Yorkshire in 1991 as a Development Officer with Doncaster

He took up a similar role with Sheffield Eagles three years later and in 1997 was appointed General Manager and then Chief Executive of the then Super League club.

Two years after his involvement in Sheffield’s famous Challenge Cup Final victory over Wigan at Wembley, Rimmer became Chief Executive at Huddersfield Giants.

In the last decade Rimmer has also been a director of Huddersfield Town, helping to take the club out of administration; managed the Ireland national team in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup and the Yorkshire Origin team in 2002; and been non-executive Chairman of Sporting Pride Community Trust, as well as Managing Director of KSDL since 2007.

Ralph has a wealth of experience in developing and managing stadia.

He was Managing Director of The Galpharm Stadium and Project Lead on the £2m redevelopment in 2007 (six years) and also Project Lead on the £150m The HD One Leisure Development (five years).

He acted as a Management Consultant on the Leigh Sports Village Development, Colchester United FC Stadium Development and Salford City Stadium Development.


Jonathan Hyland

Jonathan Hyland

Jonathan is a Partner in the Commercial Agency and development team at Knight Frank's Leeds Office and has over 30 years experience in the office and industrial property markets.

He advises on development consultancy, land and property acquisitions and disposals.

His career has encompassed a wide range of transaction, professional and consultancy services throughout the North of England for a variety of corporate clients, government departments and development companies

Graeme Sarjeant

graeme sargeant

Graeme works as an In House Lawyer for the RFL and also fills the position of Compliance Manager. 

After previously working in the fitness industry and for accountancy firm KPMG, Graeme trained as a solicitor with international law firm DLA Piper.

He then then practised in commercial law before joining the RFL.

Graeme has a strong active interest in a number of sports and played Rugby League for Great Britain Students and at Academy Level whilst at University.

He now volunteers as the chairman at a Community Rugby League club whilst still taking to the field on occasion.


Carol Doran

carol doran

Carol supports the work of the Facilities Trust by managing applications and investments plans.

She also works with the RFL and its strategic partners to develop facility standards and specifications, and supports the development of strategic facility plans for the long term benefit of Rugby League.

Prior to working at the RFL Carol was a Sports Facility Consultant, and previously worked for many years in the I.T. sector