Former Huddersfield Giant Shaun Lunt is one of the driving forces behind plans to develop new infrastructure and facilities in Mirfield hat will empower sport, business and the wider community.

Mirfield United CIC been established from the platform set by the town’s rugby team, Mirfield ARLFC, and features the addition of businessmen Adam Matich and Phil Taylor-Guck to the organisation’s board, alongside rugby founders Tom Coates and Mikey Otty.

Super League Grand Final winner and England Rugby League international Shaun Lunt has also been recruited, while several new coaches and volunteers have jumped on board to help underpin Mirfield United’s lofty ambitions.

Working with a range of strategic partners, the organisation is rapidly advancing plans to develop facilities that will include a floodlit 4G pitch, changing rooms, community space and business hub.

Board members are already engaged in discussions with local councillors, public funding bodies and private investors towards turning their ambitions into a reality.

The plans recently received a major boost with the launch of an under-12s team, who join a thriving men’s open age side, while discussions are ongoing towards the establishment of women’s and masters (over-35s) rugby league sides, to broaden opportunities for local people to participate in the sport.

But the plans run far further than just rugby league.

Mirfield United’s mission is to utilise all sports to foster a sense of belonging and purpose – and instil values that have the potential to transform local lives, now and in the future.

Against a backdrop of tight public sector budgets, Mirfield United’s plans will deliver major local benefits, including:

  • Better physical and mental wellbeing: fostering healthier lifestyles
  • Better connections: bringing people closer together
  • Better safety: reducing crime and youth violence
  • Better inclusivity: welcoming all ages, backgrounds and abilities
  • Better opportunities: nurturing hidden talent in our local community

Around 100 people attended a launch event held at Old Bank WMC in Mirfield last week, where the plans were formally showcased to existing members.

A brand film, documenting the journey, is also in production.

Mirfield United coach Shaun Lunt said: “I’ve lived in Mirfield for nearly 15 years now and I want to help the town reach its full potential.

“I know first-hand that sport has the ability to foster a sense of belonging and purpose, and helps to instil the values of teamwork, fair-play, loyalty, and respect from a young age.

“You don’t need to be a fan of sports to see why that’s great news for all of us, but in today’s world, these qualities and connections often seem in short supply. And that’s where Mirfield United comes in.”

Mirfield United CIC director Tom Coates said: “Mirfield United is a social movement committed to positive change that aims to transform local lives through community action and sport, and by rallying local businesses to fund and fuel our mission.

“Our work will bring all parts of the community together, from locals to independents, charities, councils and education, helping people feel like it’s truly their town.

“Every strong community needs a beating heart and together we can make this ours.”