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Hear More About Newcastle United Foundation’s Ambitious Plans

Toon favourite Shola Ameobi is urging Newcastle fans and those living and working near St James Park to learn more on the club charity’s ambitious plans for a new football-focused community hub.

Earlier this year Newcastle United Foundation unveiled pproposals for a new sports and education facility on land close to the football club’s city centre home.

The multi-million pound development in Diana Street is set to include two sports halls, a football pitch and classrooms to deliver learning and training, as well as a meeting and activity space for the wider community.

The Foundation has contracted the Newcastle office of national planning and development consultancy Lichfields to progress the application, at the site of the Murray House Recreational Centre, on its behalf.

And Lichfields, along with the Foundation and Ryder Architects are holding a public consultation event on December 13 at The Core, in Science Central, to elaborate and seek community views on the proposals.

Phil Jones planning director at Lichfields, said: “This new Newcastle United Foundation community facility will support the wider regeneration objectives of Science Central by providing an exciting new sports and digital community hub for people in the West End of Newcastle.

“The provision of such a facility, with Newcastle United Foundation and the Football Club at its heart, will act as a catalyst for the potential wider regeneration of the area supporting health and well-being opportunities.

“We have leafleted some 3,500 households and businesses in the surrounding area to invite them along to hear more about the plans.”

Shola Ameobi, who scored 79 goals in 397 appearances for the Magpies and is a patron of Newcastle United Foundation will be on hand at the event to elaborate on the vision for the facility.

He said: “We’re really excited to hear what our community thinks of our vision to build a hub for community sport, education and wellbeing on the site of Murray House where I played football as a child.”

Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “This is not just about constructing a new building; it is about transforming lives, giving a community a new lease of life and changing it for the better, forever.”

“The drop in on 13 December is open to anyone and we will be on hand to answer any questions people may have. Anyone that can’t attend, but would like to know more, should contact us directly and we will follow up with you.”

Murray House was originally built in the 1930s to provide leisure and training opportunities for men and boys made unemployed by the decline of shipbuilding.

It was rebuilt in the 1970s on its current site and has continued to serve the local community, particularly young people, as a key local asset.

Shola Ameobi, grew up near the centre and was a regular at the youth drop in sessions. “Murray House was a big part of my life growing up,” he said.

“In fact, it was a big part of our community. We didn’t have anything like Newcastle United Foundation in the city back then. I wish we had.

“When you start out with very little it can be difficult to believe that you can achieve your dreams but the Foundation, through the power of football, is helping thousands of people.

“I’m a proud supporter of their fantastic work and I am incredibly excited about Murray House’s future in their hands.”

The event takes place on Wednesday 13th December, between 3.00pm-7.00pm, at The Core, Science Central, Newcastle, NE4 5TF

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