Plans for a new multi-million pound sports and education facility in Newcastle have been approved.

Newcastle United Foundation has been granted approval for the new hub in the city centre, near St James’ Park, the home ground of Newcastle United.

The new base for Newcastle United Foundation will feature a range of sporting and leisure facilities for all ages, supporting excellence in early years, school education, pathways into further and higher education, and employment, while improving the physical and mental wellbeing of the region’s communities.

Designed by Ryder Architecture, with landscape architecture expertise provided by OOBE Ltd, the three-storey hub will comprise a four-court sports hall, rooftop pitch, match review suite, viewing areas, an activity studio, spin studio, teaching spaces and an open plan office space. Work is expected to begin on site in autumn 2020.

Sarah Medcalf, deputy head of Newcastle United Foundation, commented: “We are delighted that planning permission has been granted and all our efforts are now focused on creating a building and public realm that will serve the community for generations to come.

“I would like to thank the entire project team for their professionalism, knowledge and support in reaching this important milestone.”

Sharon Whiting-McKay, senior associate at OOBE, commented: “There were a number of challenges to overcome on this project. These included accommodating a larger building footprint, manipulating existing site levels, tree preservation orders and an existing sewer route. Our design has successfully addressed these to provide a welcoming public realm which incorporates health benefits by extending the indoor fitness suite outside. Nature has also been encouraged to flourish through a biodiverse planting scheme.”

Alexandra Blaylock, project architect at Ryder, added: “Helping the Foundation to realise their ambitions for their new home has been a hugely rewarding journey and we look forward to continuing with the next phase of the development.”