New Parklife projects gym, Blakelaw in Newcastle's West End

Bullocksteads Sports Ground and Blakelaw Park

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Summary

Sector
Sports and Leisure
Value
£9.9m
Location
Newcastle
Status
Live
Customer
Newcastle City Council
Completion
2023
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Multi-million-pound Parklife Hubs sports facilities’ regeneration project in Newcastle

Two sports complexes in Newcastle have been transformed, providing important facilities for the local community and creating capacity for over 100 matches of grassroots football to take place each weekend.

Bullocksteads in Kenton Bank Foot and Blakelaw in Newcastle’s west end are both new build Parklife projects and include a gym, Café, Changing Rooms and Meeting Rooms as well as additional parking and new 4G football pitches.

The project involved the demolition of the existing buildings before work could begin on the two-storey sports complexes which included new car parking, a play area, footpaths, and SUDs (Sustainable drainage systems) ponds at each site.

Delivered through the Procure Partnerships Framework, the sites will serve thousands of children, young people, adults and elderly residents from across the North East of England.

Key facts

£3.1m 

added social value

16

local staff employed

2

two-storey sports pavilions

Bringing quality facilities to the local community

The two new Parklife Hubs will provided much needed high quality facilities to the local community and have been funded through investment by Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.

At Blakelaw Park, the works included installation of two new 3G Football Turf Pitches (FTPs) and a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), along with the replacement of an existing full-size 3G FTP. 

The brand new two-storey pavilion will house new changing rooms, a community cafe and education room alongside a 60-station fitness suite with studio. 

The facility has become the training home for Blakelaw Juniors and Montagu & Fenham Juniors.

At Bullocksteads Sports Ground, the new facilities included two new floodlit 3G FTPs, the new two-storey pavilion with changing rooms for six teams and two officials, a community café, and meeting space. 

The first floor features a health and fitness club with a 70-station gym, spin studio, and multi-purpose studio.

There are seven grass pitches (including one rugby), additional parking, and a children’s adventure play area.

The facility is now home to Newcastle City Juniors, Newbiggin Hall Juniors and the Panthers who are Newcastle’s only LGBTQ+ football Club.

The sites are operated by the charity Leisure United, and all surplus income is re-invested back into grassroots football in Newcastle to help make football more sustainable.

Working within residential areas

Both facilities are located within residential locations, and our team worked hard to make sure that the any negative impact or disruption was kept to an absolute minimum.

To achieve this, we carried out frequent careful liaison with the affected neighbours and local community groups to ensure everyone was aware of the construction works taking place. 

This involved holding public meetings, leaflets drops, and speaking to different community groups to share our plans, listen to concerns, and adapt plans where necessary.

New Parklife projects gym, Bullocksteads in Kenton Bank Foot

Supporting the local supply chain

It’s important that we support the areas where we work. In addition to offering local employment and educational opportunities, we also work with local suppliers, investing in people and businesses within the communities in which we work.

Robertson has supported local contractors and the local supply chain to the value of £2,760,440 across both projects.

These contractors are all within 30 miles from the each Parklife Hub and have benefited from this project.

This has given a substantial boost to the local economy and the local labour market in the North East of England.

Creating a lasting legacy through local employment and educational opportunities

At Robertson, we see the benefits of employing locally and harnessing the skills and knowledge of people within our communities.

Through the course of the Parklife Projects, Robertson have employed directly on site a total of 16 people that live locally to either sports complex. 

On all projects, Robertson aims to support those within the local community and provide opportunities for skilled workers that are currently in need of employment. 

We support two people who were previously classed as Long Term Unemployed of 12 months or more access employment opportunities on our sites, providing 120 weeks’ worth of full time employment across our sites. 

To offer employability skills development within the community, our team attended a DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) event at Newcastle Civic Centre aimed at providing careers advice and guidance to long term unemployed residents of the city. 

Our community advisors spoke with more than 50 residents throughout the day who were interested in careers in construction.

Our hope is that we have left a legacy that has helped local people to secure employment, become upskilled, and inspired the next generation of skilled construction workers whilst also helping out some of those people from the most disadvantaged backgrounds within our communities.