Jack Brooke-Battersby
By Jack Brooke-Battersby

Senior Staff Writer

13 September 2023

| | 3 min read


Community sports hubs officially opened

A new multi-million-pound sports Hub has opened for the community in Newcastle at Bullocksteads, thanks to a £5.4 million grant from the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

Lord Mayor Cllr Veronica Dunn joins special guests at the opening of the Bullocksteads hub
Lord Mayor Cllr Veronica Dunn joins special guests at the opening of the Bullocksteads hub

This project is part of a £9.4 million investment from the Foundation to transform access to grassroots facilities in the area which has enabled the creation of two Hubs at Bullocksteads and Blakelaw Recreation Ground. Across the two sites, local residents will have access to five floodlit 3G football turf pitches (FTPs) and 12 improved grass pitches as well as  changing rooms, gyms, and cafés.

The new facilities will help address the shortfall of pitches identified in the Local Football Facility Plan for Newcastle Upon Tyne and provide a home for several local grassroots clubs – allowing them to significantly expand their provision.

The opening was attended by representatives from the Football Foundation including CEO Robert Sullivan and Chair Martin Glenn, and Lord Mayor of Newcastle Cllr Veronica Dunn.

Bullocksteads, which has also been supported by an additional £3.1 million investment from Newcastle City Council, will become a key venue for women’s and girls’ football in the area. The new pitches will be used for training by Newcastle United Women FC and for match play by a local grassroots league. The site will also provide opportunities for disability participation through Newcastle United Foundation disability programme for cerebral palsy and amputee participants.

Robert Sullivan, CEO of the Football Foundation, said:  “These two new community sports hubs in Newcastle will not only provide fantastic places  but also a great space for the local community to come together. The positive impact in terms of the jobs and opportunities created during their construction has already been felt; and I look forward to the people of Newcastle getting to know and enjoy theses facilities in the years to come.  

“Thanks to the investment we receive from our funding partners, the Premier League, The FA and Government, the Football Foundation is working to deliver more Hubs like this across the country so that everyone can have access to great places to play like these two sites in Newcastle.” 

Cllr Alex Hay, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for a Thriving City, said“These two hubs provide fantastic new sports facilities in two parts of the city and I’m incredibly proud we’ve been able to support their delivery.

“We’re committed to creating inclusive, healthy and vibrant neighbourhoods where everyone has access to high-quality resources and opportunities and these hubs will certainly prove to be excellent additions to these communities.”

These projects are part of the Foundation’s Hubs programme, which has already seen 18 multi-pitch sites open across the country. Over the next 12 months, an additional five Hubs are due to open to provide safe, accessible and quality facilities for people to come together and play sport. 

Both Hubs will be operated by Leisure United – the charitable operating arm of the National Football Trust – who’ll re-invest any surplus revenue generated back into grassroots sport across the city.