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6 May 2021

Robertson host steel signing at NUCASTLE with Newcastle United’s Longstaff brothers

An entire community has come together to celebrate Newcastle United Foundation’s future with a celebratory steel signing event at NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society.

Dozens of guests including Newcastle United players, Foundation participants and patrons, generous investors, partners and trustees joined residents in Newcastle's West End to leave their legacy at the site of multi-million pound community hub, NUCASTLE.

Newcastle United Foundation – official charity arm of Newcastle United – hosted the carefully coordinated and socially distanced event on May 5, 2021, allowing for Foundation supporters to safely attend the construction site in Newcastle.

Robertson Construction has completed the foundations and steel frame that form the core structure of NUCASTLE – the Foundation's state-of-the-art facility providing an accessible and inclusive centre for learning, recreation, exercise, personal development and community work.

Guests were invited in small groups to leave a permanent mark on the building by signing one of two steel posts that will stand at NUCASTLE's entrance off Diana Street. Although the signatures will be not be visible when the building completes, each attendee at the steel signing has become a permanent part of the legacy of the building.

Signatures left at the site include those of Newcastle United Foundation Ambassadors and United players, Sean Longstaff and Matty Longstaff, Newcastle United Foundation participants, staff and charity patrons.

Steve Beharall, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: "The community and the people we support are at the heart of everything we do at the Foundation and they're the reason why we have worked for so many years to secure funding to bring NUCASTLE to life.

"Investments from so many like-minded individuals and organisations and the dedication of contractors working on site have helped us to reach this major milestone in our charity's journey.

"We are thrilled to share the progress on site so far and we hope everyone united by our Foundation is just as excited as us about the incredible opportunities NUCASTLE will facilitate in the future."

Teams of Newcastle United Foundation staff will also be attending the site where the former Murray House Recreational Centre previously stood to sign their names on the structure throughout the week.

Newcastle United's Sean Longstaff – an official ambassador for Newcastle United Foundation – said: "It's amazing to see the development at NUCASTLE so far, especially as we know how important the finished building is going to be to people around the city and from all over the area.

"It's great to know as well that there will be a purpose-built place for communities to use so close to St. James' Park. I'm very proud to be part of the Foundation and to represent them and their work in my home area."

The next phase of NUCASTLE's build will see the completion of concrete floor slabs and the commencement of the structural framing system.

Robert Sullivan, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: "It's great to see this facility making progress after all of the hard work that has gone into making it a reality so far. We're really pleased to have been able to provide some of the funding via the Football Foundation from the Premier League, The FA and the Government, through Sport England.

"This amazing new community hub will provide a much needed space for grassroots sport, allowing more people from across Newcastle to gain health, mental wellbeing and social benefits from getting involved. It will also provide a welcome boost to the local economy. We're excited to see this vision continue to take shape over the next year and look forward to the opening!"

By March 2022, the innovative three-story hub will become a landmark venue attracting more than 100,000 visitors annually, with children, young people, adults and elderly residents able to access a range of world-class facilities.

A spectacular 4G rooftop pitch offering views of St. James' Park will top off NUCASTLE's four digital suites, specialist STEM classroom, high-tech digital hub, smart fitness suite, sports hall and accessible changing areas, event and meeting spaces.

Garry Hope, Managing Director at Robertson Construction North East, said: "The work that will be carried out at NUCASTLE will benefit the local community for years to come and we are delighted to have reached this phase in the build programme and to join the Foundation's guests on such a significant day. Having been a season ticket holder at St. James' Park for the last 30 years, I take great personal pride in being able to add my signature today."

The centre will also complement the Foundation's outreach work and launch the NU Futures programme – the charity's initiative supporting thousands of disadvantaged young people from across the North of Tyne area to engage with education, skill-building and careers activities.

NUCASTLE will also house the Foundation's disability football programmes for adults and children and provide a safe and supportive place for participants of all ages and abilities to increase their physical and mental wellbeing with mentorship from Foundation staff.