Newcastle Rugby, the company that owns both Newcastle Falcons and Newcastle Thunder, can today confirm the purchase for the freehold of Kingston Park Stadium from Northumbria University.
The deal will see Newcastle Rugby once again own the ground after it was sold in 2007 to Northern Rock. The University then purchased the ground from Northern Rock in 2008 and the ground has been leased to Newcastle Rugby since this time. The current lease was due to expire in summer 2017.
As well as Newcastle Rugby purchasing the ground from the University the two organisations will implement a rugby development partnership. This will see Northumbria’s men’s and women’s RU and RL teams train and play games at Kingston Park Stadium over the next ten years. Falcons and Thunder players and coaches will be involved in coaching the respective University teams.
The purchase of the ground has been facilitated by Newcastle City Council. The City Council will engage in a community sports development partnership with Newcastle Rugby. This partnership will benefit individuals, sports clubs, schools and community groups. All will receive coaching, attendance at matches, access to the stadium pitch, player visits and support across a number of health, education and sporting programmes.
Speaking about the stadium purchase Newcastle Rugby Chairman Semore Kurdi said:
“The ground purchase is a very significant event for Newcastle Rugby. It secures the long term future of both Newcastle Falcons and Newcastle Thunder at Kingston Park Stadium. It will also give us a permanent home from which we can continue the outstanding work of the Falcons Community Foundation as we look to grow both codes of rugby across the North East and Cumbria. The additional development work we will undertake with both the University and City Council will bring strong benefits for all concerned.
“I’d like to thank both Newcastle City Council and Northumbria University for their support throughout the negotiations. Owning the stadium will allow us to continue the improvements we have already made to the ground. We will look to further grow our supporter base and add to their match day experience as well as providing first class playing and training facilities for the players of both clubs.”
Speaking on behalf of Northumbria University, Damon Kent, Director of Campus Services, commented: “We are delighted that we have been able to support the City Council and the Falcons with their ambition to retain and develop Premiership rugby in the city.The University has agreed to the sale of Kingston Park to the Falcons to bring benefits to the club, the region and the University. The club will be able to invest in its facilities and rugby fans in the region will continue to enjoy rugby at Kingston Park for years to come.
“As part of the sale, we have agreed that Northumbria University’s students will continue to have access to the club’s outstanding facilities and coaching staff, helping to ensure the future success of our own award-winning Team Northumbria squads.”