Newcastle United star's former football centre undergoes development to nurture more North East talent
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A state-of-the-art community space will be built in County Durham in a bid to revamp Beamish Football Centre which in recent years has been a breeding ground for a raft of footballing professionals such as Jamie and Lewis Miley, Coventry's Ben Wilson and ex-Everton defender Lewis Gibson.
Ryan Gardiner, director of MGM Construction, who will be leading the development, said: "This is an unbelievably exciting project, and we are thrilled to have been selected as the construction partner to help bring this community hub to life.
"The centre is going to cement Beamish Football Centre's reputation as a major grassroots footballing force in the North East, whilst providing an upgraded, vibrant space that will benefit the wider community."
Beamish Football Centre was born out of the ashes of the disused Stanley School of Technology and to date the centre has helped improve the lives of over 3,000 people while Sunderland's AFC's Foundation of Light regularly stages coaching programmes there.
The planned development will breathe new life into the ageing space. Training facilities will be upgraded, with a new bar and function space. Indoors, there will be training spaces for both education and fitness while larger rooms will open training courses up to even more learners.
The project has been realised thanks to money from the key funder, the Youth Investment Fund, which to date has invested over £300m into projects across the UK that improve youth facilities and services.
The scheme was pulled together on behalf of Stanley Events by architect Mawson Kerr, consulting engineers Jasper Kett and Elvet Consultants who are acting as the Clients Representative and Project Manager for the development.
Having operated at close to capacity for a long time, Carl Marshall – who runs Stanley Events with wife Anna - said he was thrilled work was finally set to get underway.
“This is the perfect time to bring this dream to life, and we are delighted that MGM Construction will be our construction partner,” he said.
“This is a major project for the area, so it was vital we found the right firm we could trust to deliver it, and MGM’s track record is second to none.
“We can’t wait for work to get underway in 2024, and to deliver something special for our wonderful community.”
Ground will be broken on the new site in January by MGM Construction.