Newcastle United Foundation marks two years of inspirational community work at NUCASTLE

Newcastle United Foundation is celebrating two years since officially opening its purpose-built hub creating thousands of new opportunities for the community every day.

Newcastle United Foundation is celebrating two years since officially opening its purpose-built hub creating thousands of new opportunities for the community every day.

NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society, was formally opened by Newcastle United Foundation Trustee and former Newcastle United striker Shola Ameobi, on March 29, 2022 to realise the Foundation’s ambition to create an inclusive and inspiring place for communities across the North East.

NUCASTLE now sees more than 168,000 visits made to the centre annually with participants, schools, businesses, community groups and residents engaging in physical activity, developing personal skills, achieving qualifications, building confidence and progressing further into training or employment.

Since formally opening its doors to the public, NUCASTLE has provided 912 free football, multi-skills and badminton sessions for the community to enjoy, 1,148 hours of employability sessions have been delivered to 4,942 participants, and 634 hours of STEM learning and esports inspires young people on site.

More than 2,200 children and adults have attended disability football festivals at NUCASTLE, with 96 per cent of all participants agreeing they feel comfortable and confident during sessions at NUCASTLE, which is five minutes’ walk away from St. James’ Park.

Steve Beharall, Newcastle United Foundation CEO, said: “A key strategic goal for Newcastle United Foundation is to provide an accessible community facility that increases physical activity, develops skills and provides greater opportunities for local people through NUCASTLE.

“The positive impact NUCASTLE has generated over the last two years demonstrates our commitment to achieving that goal, however we continue to reflect and respond to the needs of our community.

“NUCASTLE is not only a home for Newcastle United Foundation but is a safe and comfortable space for everyone to enjoy. We look forward to welcoming many more community members to NUCASTLE for generations to come.”

Since opening, NUCASTLE has adapted to offer new and exciting programmes to meet demand for after school provision, free esports sessions, women and girls’ football, HADO augmented reality play, children’s birthday parties and more.

Planning and fundraising to realise the Foundation’s vision of creating a safe and inspirational place for everyone to enjoy began eight years ago, with the site of the former Murray House Recreation Centre in Newcastle’s West End identified as a natural new home for the charity.

Building on a legacy of community support and engagement created by Murray House for more than 80 years, NUCASTLE’s innovative design comprising space for education, play, sport and socialising came to life with the generous support of community-minded organisations.

The Foundation hosted a ceremonial opening event on March 29, 2022, bringing together 300 guests including Foundation patrons, trustees, partners, funders, and participants joined celebrations at the community hub alongside Newcastle United first team head coach Eddie Howe and club captain Jamaal Lascelles.

A panel discussion at the event also saw North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll, then Northumbria Police Chief Constable Winton Keenen and Premier League Head of Communities Nick Perchard discuss with Foundation staff and participants the social impact of NUCASTLE and the work of Newcastle United Foundation.

NUCASTLE was officially opened by Shola Ameobi who grew up near Murray House and was a regular at youth football sessions on site.

Key partners who made NUCASTLE possible include Newcastle United Football Club, the Premier League Charitable Fund, Football Foundation, Harrison Foundation, Helen McArdle and Family, Liontrust, Newcastle Building Society, Newcastle United Supporters Trust, North of Tyne Combined Authority, People’s Postcode Lottery, Reece Group, Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Sir Graham Wylie Foundation.

For more information about the Foundation and programmes near you, follow Newcastle United Foundation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and X for regular news and updates.

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