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Heritage Lottery Award Foundation £10,000 Grant For Murray House Research Project

Newcastle United Foundation has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, ‘Sharing Heritage: the History of Murray House’, in the West End of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the grant will see the Foundation working in partnership with Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums to undertake the project.

Now a disused community centre in the heart of the West End of Newcastle, Murray House was originally built in 1937 as part of a widespread initiative by the National Council of Social Service to relieve stress and promote social welfare among the unemployed.

Sadly, many local people face similar challenges today. 50% of children in the Westgate area currently live in poverty. 22.6% of its young people are unemployed and instances of anti-social behaviour are high.

Throughout its history the centre has been the home of countless local initiatives including youth groups, drama festivals and sporting clubs.

Last year the Foundation announced plans to redevelop the Murray House site with Project Pitchside.

The vision is to construct a new hub of sport and activity which will serve as the Foundation’s new home. The development will include a multi-purpose sport hall, new classrooms, a high tech digital hub and a rooftop 4G football pitch.

The research in the Sharing Heritage project will help us to better understand the role that Murray House had to play in the development of the West End area of Newcastle and how it was vital to the support and development of members of the local community.

The Foundation hope to capture this so that it can be incorporated in the beginning of a new chapter for the site, breathing new life into a community that has seen little-to-no investment in recent times.

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums will help to deliver workshops to members of the local community to research the history of the site, collate stories and memorabilia to culminate in a display in the new centre when it opens its doors in 2020.

Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation said: “We are thrilled to have received this support from the Heritage Lottery. This research will go a long way to shaping the Foundation’s approach to the redevelopment of Murray House and ensure that we serve the best interests and needs of the local community.”

Nick Hodgson, Collections and Research Manager at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums said: “We are really looking forward to working with local people to ensure that their heritage is not forgotten.  The story of Murray House and its place in the west end will live on in this exciting new development.”

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