Newcastle ‘fan zone’ bustling destination


Newcastle United planning a new fan zone in stadium Image: Newcastle United

The Premier League team Newcastle United F.C. (UK) have commenced the planning application process for a brand new fan zone at the Strawberry Place in partnership with the food and leisure company STACK and the club’s front-of-shirt partner Sela (Saudi event management company).

‘Newcastle United’ stated that an initial planning application has now been lodged with the Newcastle City Council, with a proposed fan zone to be constructed in two phases to extend the site over the ground floor and the first floor.

The Newcastle United Football Club, commonly referred to as Newcastle, is an English professional football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, UK. The club compete in the Premier League (the highest level of the English football league system).

The St James’ Park is a football stadium in Newcastle upon Tyne, England (UK). It is the home of Newcastle United. With a seating capacity of 52,305 seats, it is the eighth largest football stadium in England. The St James’ Park has been the home ground of Newcastle United F.C. since 1892 and has been used for football since 1880.

Newcastle upon Tyne (UK)-based STACK – exciting and unique leisure venues constructed from shipping containers or repurposed retail units. The exciting venues are filled with independent street food traders, a variety of bars, coffee shop, and a central plaza area focused around the stage, which is programed with live entertainment daily.

The Newcastle City Council is the local Government authority for the City and the metropolitan borough of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. The Council consists of 78 councilors, three for each of the 26 wards in the City. It is currently controlled by the Labour Party, led by Nick Kemp.

Fan Zone

‘Newcastle United’ further stated that the fan zone will not only introduce a thriving food, drink and entertainment option for supporters visiting matches at the St. James’ Park, it will also create a bustling midweek leisure and social destination that has become synonymous with the STACK brand.

Built using repurposed shipping containers around a central plaza and the main stage area, the new site will attract people of all ages, with carefully curated events and attractions designed for families.

The main stage, complete with a big screen, will be designed to deliver an immersive experience for live entertainment and broadcasting sporting events, while there will be six bars and 10 street food units.

The club is continuing to work with STACK through the planning process, with Sela – the club’s front-of-shirt partner and a world-class events and experiences company – providing expert guidance.

Subject to planning and licensing being granted, it is hoped the fan zone will be open before the end of the year, with an initial lifespan of three years as the club explores potential uses for the site.

Boosting Newcastle City Centre

The fan zone will complement recent development projects around the Strawberry Place site, which sits in the shadow of the stadium’s Gallowgate End. The land, which was recently acquired by the club, was previously a car park and was most recently used to accommodate materials for the nearby construction projects.

It is anticipated the fan zone will create a host of economic and employment opportunities for the City Centre, attracting local businesses as both vendors and suppliers, and stimulating additional footfall for the neighboring businesses and services.

The site will also create 150 full-time and part-time jobs, with Newcastle United Foundation’s employability program – NU Futures – forging links with the fan zone to give the local people new opportunities.

Newcastle upon Tyne (UK)-based the Newcastle United Foundation is an independent registered charity using the power of football to connect, motivate and inspire people in the region. Through community, education, health, and wellbeing, and sports programs delivered across Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, and Gateshead, they strive to improve physical and mental health, boost learning and career prospects and provide life-changing opportunities for everyone – no matter their goals in life.

The NU Futures is a powerful collaboration between the Newcastle United Foundation, North of Tyne Combined Authority, leading local businesses, schools, and other high-quality education and training partners.

The North of Tyne Combined Authority is a Mayoral combined authority which consists of the local authorities of Newcastle upon Tyne, North Tyneside and Northumberland, all in North East England (UK).

It supports young people to develop the skills and attributes needed to progress and succeed in the world of work and the fan zone will provide a key pathway for young people to secure employment.

A community consultation process will begin in due course, giving the supporters and the wider public an opportunity to see the plans in detail.

Revitalizing Strawberry Place

Informed Darren Eales, head honcho, Newcastle United F.C., “Our fan zone is aimed at enhancing the experience not just for supporters visiting matches and big events at the stadium, but for people visiting the City Centre seven days a week. Submitting initial plans is just the first stage and there are a lot of steps in the process, but we are excited to continue working with our commercial and City partners to create something that will really add social and economic value to the location.”

Noted Neill Winch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), STACK, “The joint venture with Newcastle United to create a fan zone in the City Centre is exciting for many reasons, not least of which is the coming together of two great North East brands. We believe this development is going to be a huge asset, not just to the club and its amazing fans, but to the City as a whole. While STACK is now growing to become a national chain, the fact that our very first venture was in Newcastle means it has a special place in our affections. We are delighted to be working with the club and Sela to provide a ‘best-in- class’ experience for the fans and the community, not only on matchdays, but every day of the week.”

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