Deal secures future of sports ground

A deal that will see the development of new and improved sports facilities for people in the outer west of Newcastle has today been confirmed.

Newcastle City Council has reached an agreement to buy Northumbria University’s Bullocksteads Sports Ground, at Kenton Bank Foot, in a move that will guarantee high quality sports facilities for families in the area for many years to come.

The 30-acre site, which is close to the Newcastle Falcons ground off Ponteland Road, already has a number of sports pitches, a pavilion building and parking.

The purchase of the sports ground by the council will not only secure the future of the existing pitches and allow for wider community use, but will also provide opportunities to extend the sports provision at the site, including potential new cycling facilities.

Cllr Ged Bell, Cabinet member for Inclusive Growth at Newcastle City Council, said: “I am delighted that, after a lengthy period of negotiation, we have been able to reach an agreement to purchase the Bullocksteads Sports Ground from Northumbria University.

“This deal will secure the future of these existing sports facilities and enable us to improve and upgrade them.

“Importantly, it means existing and new families in the area will have excellent sports facilities and opportunities close to where they live for many generations to come.”

Damon Kent, Director of Campus Services at Northumbria said: “Bullocksteads has served us well as a sports centre, and we will still have use of the facility for the whole of the next academic year.

“As we continue to invest in, and build on our success as one of the UK’s top universities for sport, we will be consolidating and enhancing our facilities even further at the nearby Coach Lane campus. This will complement our existing £30 million Sport Central in the city centre campus, and will ensure all our students continue to benefit from an excellent and easily accessible range of services. We are also pleased that the legacy of Bullocksteads will continue as a sports and leisure facility for the local community.”

The new and improved sports facilities would be funded in part by contributions from housing developers, who will be building 3,000 new homes as part of the Callerton masterplan, which was approved by the council’s Cabinet on 12 October 2016.

The development of new homes in this part of the city means that new sports pitches are required.

Cllr Bell added: “We have always been committed to listening to residents in this area about sports provision, and have worked really hard to find the best possible solution. We are really pleased to have secured these facilities."

Details of the deal are now being finalised and will be subject to legal agreement.

Media contacts:

Newcastle City Council:

Ann Bridges | 0191 277 7414 | ann.bridges@newcastle.gov.uk

Northumbria University:

Rik Kendall  | 0191 227 3598 | rik.kendall@northumbria.ac.uk