RUGBY’S unique status during this autumn’s Rugby World Cup is vital to the community, the town’s MP has told Parliament.
Mark Pawsey asked the House of Commons for a debate on how communities can take advantage of major sporting events.
And the Leader of the House acknowledged the ‘excellent opportunity’ the tournament will present to the borough.
Mr Pawsey told the House: “With the support that Rugby Borough Council is providing, there is a great opportunity for my constituency to benefit as rugby enthusiasts from around the world will be attracted to the birthplace of the game and will spend their money in our shops, restaurants and hotels.”
Leader of the House and former Conservative Party leader William Hauge replied: “My honorable friend’s constituency, with its unique link to the tournament as the birthplace of the sport, will have an excellent opportunity to benefit, especially as it has been given host status.
“The Rugby World Cup will have a huge positive impact on this country.”
Mr Pawsey later added: “Rugby Borough Council has provided the support needed to ensure that there is a great opportunity for people in Rugby to benefit from this fantastic event, both as enthusiasts of the game and as a wider community.”
He said he was confident Rugby would have similar opportunities for investment, tourism and growth that the 2012 Olympics provided to London.
“It is important that communities use major events, such as international sport, to drive tourism and investment to improve them,” he said.
With the World Cup 2015 being hosted in the UK, Rugby has been granted official ‘Proud Home of the Game’ status.
Rugby Borough Council has agreed plans to invest £1 million in the town ahead of the tournament.
The plans will see a Rugby Village created at the old marketplace featuring events and activities throughout the tournament, while the town will be draped in bunting and given a ‘spring clean’.
Further investments being discussed by the council include permanent and temporary art sculptures, large-scale ‘spectacular events’ and a World Rugby exhibition.
A council spokesman said further announcements are likely to be made in the coming weeks.
*SPORTING volunteers are wanted to help Rugby’s World Cup celebrations run smoothly.
Organisers want residents and communities to give visitors a warm welcome and help events go to plan.
‘The Scrum’ volunteers will help out at festival events on non-matchdays in and around the Rugby Village, the temporary venue at the old marketplace that will host the town’s Fanzone.
And Rugby Town Guides will be asked to host regular tours from the summer, throughout the tournament and beyond. Training will be provided.
Applicants can find out more and have a short interview with selectors at the Visitor Centre, Little Elborow Street on Thursday February 19 (4-7pm), Tuesday February 24 (4-7pm), Saturday February 28 (10am-12pm) and Saturday March 7 (10am-12pm).
Community organisations can email their details to email@example.com.
Applications are welcome from anyone who will be aged 16 or over on 1 September 2015.
The tournament runs from September 18 to October 31. Visit www.rugby.gov.uk/RWC2015 for more information.