An investment into young people’s futures by Newcastle United Foundation and North of Tyne Combined Authority has been set in steel at a celebratory signing event.
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll joined Foundation staff and participants to sign the steel structure of NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle Building Society – leaving a lasting legacy at the multi-million pound community hub in Newcastle’s West End.
The North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) provided a huge boost to the Foundation in 2019 through a £2.6m investment grant to support the charity’s NU Futures programme – an extensive outreach programme transforming the way young people transition from education and into careers.
The grant includes the provision of a state-of-the-art facility for the community with NUCASTLE’s construction now well under way and the social value of the investment already evident in the North of Tyne area.
Since beginning the NUCASTLE project, North East subcontractors have received orders with a value of more than £4.5m to commence within a 40-mile radius of the site. And almost 60 per cent of the orders have been committed to subcontractors within a 10-mile radius of the site – keeping a large proportion of the value close to NUCASTLE.
Once complete, the centre will provide an accessible and inclusive centre for learning, recreation, exercise, personal development and community work.
But while the steel frame standing at the heart of the hub remains exposed, key Foundation patrons, participants, generous investors and partners are being invited to sign their name, forming a permanent link with the building.
Sarah Medcalf, Deputy Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “It’s fantastic to share the progress so far at NUCASTLE with Mayor Jamie Driscoll and to provide an opportunity for the NTCA and the people it represents to leave a permanent mark on the site.
“Together, we aim to equip around 12,000 teenagers and young adults with the skills they need to gain employment through NU Futures when the site opens – particularly within digital, financial, professional business services and STEM careers and industries.
She added: “We’re very pleased to see the social value of the community hub already being reflected in the area with the generation of millions of pounds worth of subcontractor orders being committed in the North of Tyne.
“The local economy is already benefitting from NUCASTLE being built in the North East and this is fantastic news for the communities we support.”
North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll’s signature is the latest to be added to one of the steel posts that will form NUCASTLE’s main entrance off Diana Street, near St. James’ Park.
The Mayor was joined by Foundation participant, Katie, a young adult who has transformed her life after being given the tools and support she needed to employment opportunities through the Foundation’s employability programmes.
Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “One of the best things we can do is inspire kids. This project is about health and getting young people active – but it’s more than that.
“There’s help to find jobs. There’s teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and outreach work all across our region. Up to Berwick, across North Tyneside and right the way out across the Tyne Valley.
“There’s all sorts of programmes to help people get their careers on track and support for those who need it. When people find their inspiration they do well in life.
“It’s about pride in our young people and pride in the North East.”
By March 2022, the innovative three-storey 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.