Newcastle United is celebrating after a planning application for a new fanzone adjacent to St James’ Park has been formally approved by Newcastle city councillors.
Known as "St James’ Stack, powered by Sela", the venue will be a "thriving food, drink and entertainment option for those attending matches and events at the stadium, as well as a bustling midweek leisure and social destination".
The fanzone will be built using repurposed shipping containers around a central plaza and main stage area and is expected to open in Spring 2024, with an initial lifespan of three years as the club explores potential uses for the site.
In a statement released after the decision, Newcastle United said: "The fanzone 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.
"It will be supported by the club's front-of-shirt partner, Sela - a pioneering destination and experiences organisation.
The fanzone 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."
The club adds: "It is anticipated the fanzone 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.
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"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."
Formal planning approval follows a comprehensive community consultation process by the club and STACK, with members of the public and neighbouring businesses recently visiting St. James’ Park to meet senior executives to review plans.