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Newcastle United Strawberry Place Fanzone planning application – Only one line interests me

7 months ago
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Wednesday morning has seen Newcastle United reveal plans for a Fanzone.

The Fanzone to be sited on Strawberry Place, opposite the Gallowgate End.

The official NUFC announcement (see below) making public that an initial planning application has been lodged with Newcastle City Council.

Now to be honest, I don’t care a less about a Newcastle United Fanzone.

After all, the unique location of our club means we have an entire city centre of bars, cafes and restaurants to choose from, within easy reach of St James’ Park.

Anyway, only one line interests me in this official club announcement and it is this…

‘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.’

There is only one ‘potential use’ that pretty much all Newcastle United fans are concerned about for this site and that is, here’s hoping ASAP in this three year period where the Strawberry Place land is used as a Fanzone, we get notice that a planning application has gone in for the land to be then used to help significantly increase the capacity of St James’ Park. Which of course was the intention when the Hall and Shepherd NUFC administration bought the land originally AND surely the overriding reason why the current owners have bought the Strawberry Place land back, after Mike Ashley sold it for personal gain.

Newcastle United official announcement – Planning application for Strawberry Place Fanzone made – 26 July 2023:

Newcastle United have commenced the planning application process for a brand new fan zone at Strawberry Place in partnership with STACK and the club’s front-of-shirt partner, Sela.

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

INTRODUCING THE FAN ZONE

The fan zone will not only introduce a thriving food, drink and entertainment option for supporters visiting matches at 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 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 ten 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 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 neighbouring businesses and services.

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

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

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 supporters and the wider public an opportunity to see the plans in detail.

REVITALISING STRAWBERRY PLACE

Darren Eales said: “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.”

Neill Winch, CEO of STACK, said: “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 fans and the community, not only on match days, but every day of the week.”

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