Working in partnership with Northumberland FA and Newcastle United Foundation, Newcastle City Council has had an expression of interest form accepted for the Parklife Football Hubs Programme – a national scheme aimed at developing modern sporting facilities across the country.
Parklife is a five-year commitment to building multi-pitch hubs with artificial grass pitches across towns and cities in England, with the aim of raising playing standards and opportunities for all. The £200m programme receives investment from The FA alongside the Government, Premier League and local partners.
Newcastle City Council has led on producing feasibility work and site investigations which have identified two preferred sites in the city. These proposed locations are Blakelaw Park and Bullocksteads (in Kingston Park).
As well as local clubs and schools having access to the new facilities, Newcastle United Foundation would also deliver community outreach programmes that use the power of sport to benefit local people in the area.
Should the funding be approved, Newcastle would join London, Liverpool, Sheffield and Sunderland as a member of the Parklife scheme.
Mark Woodhall, Northumberland FA County Development Manager, said: “Northumberland FA is delighted to be a partner in the Parklife programme and look forward to working through the consultation process with the local football family across Newcastle.
“Investment into grassroots football to improve facilities will clearly support the development of playing opportunities, as well as having an impact upon the health and well-being of the wider community. We look forward to working with Newcastle City Council over the coming months.”
Cllr Kim McGuinness, cabinet member for culture and communities at Newcastle City Council, added: "These are exciting times for Newcastle with the latest developments about Parklife representing the hard work we have been doing to promote Newcastle as a healthy, physically active city. We are building upon generations of sporting and cultural heritage that shows our desire, ambition and commitment to achieve great things.
“This is a fabulous chance to improve the sporting opportunities in Newcastle. Our bid aims to support young people through sport and help improve football in particular. If successful, we will not only help to develop grassroots football in Newcastle, but other sports and community activities will also be able to secure access to state-of-the-art hub sites.”
Steve Beharall, Operations Manager of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We welcome the exciting announcement that The FA, Premier League and Newcastle City Council are developing Parklife hubs in the heart of our community, which will provide significant new investment into local, accessible facilities for local football provision.”
Once the feasibility work has been completed in early May it will signal the start of a programmed consultation period with local clubs, football leagues and communities.
For further information about these developments, please contact Garry Smith, Newcastle City council Policy and Communications Business Partner, on Garry.Smith@Newcastle.Gov.UK or 0191 2777848.