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Newcastle United Foundation Unveils Exciting Plans For New Centre

Newcastle United Foundation, the independent charity working with 50,000 young people in the region annually with the support and encouragement of Newcastle United, has revealed plans today for a new sporting and education hub for the City.

Having agreed terms, the Trustees of Murray House Recreational Centre in Diana Street, five minutes’ walk from St James’ Park, will transfer the ownership of the existing site and building to the Foundation, allowing it to create a new purpose-built community facility there. 

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 and has continued to serve the local community, particularly young people, as a key local asset. Newcastle United Foundation aim to base their educational programmes from the new centre and some of their sporting activities there, and, in doing so will secure a bright future for this site within the local community.

The multi-million pound development will include a sports hall and football pitch, classrooms and learning suites to deliver learning and training plus meeting space for the wider community.

The Foundation has appointed Newcastle law firm Muckle LLP to advise on the asset transfer and international design practice Ryder Architecture, who are headquartered in Newcastle, to design the new building. There will be organising a series of events for local residents, businesses and community groups to hear their needs and ideas for this before the Foundation submits a detailed planning application.

Former Newcastle striker and Foundation Patron 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. 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.”

John Marshall, Chair of Trustees of Newcastle United Foundation said:

“Murray House has a wonderful history and a brilliant reputation in the community, with talented sports stars like Shola Ameobi playing their first football here.

“The Foundation will create a vibrant sporting and education hub for the local community and the City.  This builds on Newcastle United’s rich football heritage, the City’s unrivalled passion for football and the Foundation’s track record in promoting healthy, active lifestyles for all ages through football and sport.

“Our immediate focus is to start talking to the community about our vision as we need their input to shape our plans and move this exciting project forward as fast as we can.”

John Percival, Chair of Murray House added:

“Newcastle United Foundation shares our vision for the future of our building and is committed to putting the community, and young people especially, at the heart of its plans. This, along with our shared values, gives us confidence that the Foundation is the right organisation to take Murray House forward.”

Lee Charnley, managing director of Newcastle United Football Club commented:

“Murray House represents the next vital step in the exciting journey of our Foundation, who have already achieved so much.

“The communities that surround St. James’ Park invest their passion and devotion into the football club, and, in delivering a centre for sport and education, right at the heart of the city, there could not be a more fitting tribute to the connection between community and club.”

 To find out more about the Newcastle United Foundation and how it is improving the lives of almost 50,000 people in the local community each year, please visit or email Kate Bradley, head of Newcastle United Foundation, via


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