A January transfer window deal at Newcastle is set to enhance the match day experience for toon fans – off the pitch – as a rapidly expanding development and regeneration specialist – The High Street Group – has bought a controlling interest in the company that acquired Strawberry Place from the football club owner Mike Ashley, for £10 million.
The chairman of the Newcastle headquartered group says he wants to reach out to United fans to find out what kind of new facilities would improve match days at St. James’ Park.
Gary Forrest (pictured, below) – a former non-league player and current manager of West Auckland – says, “This significant investment in Newcastle is part of the High Street Group’s continued mission to build communities and regenerate city centres.
“Our vision is to create a true community hub with leisure and retail facilities, a magnificent new hotel, luxury apartments at affordable rents and high quality office space. It is a hugely exciting opportunity to radically improve our city, bring investment and help to create hundreds of new jobs,” he says.
“I know some fans are concerned about how it may affect possible future development of the ground but there are no firm proposals for this at present and there are other options.
“This innovative idea would offer the thousands of fans who flock to St James’ Park a much wider choice of quality restaurants and bars, which would provide the ideal setting for pre- and post-match revellers. However, it would also enhance the whole of the city for locals and visitors.
“We want to bring the whole of the city with us so, when the detailed plans are completed, we will listen to the views of local businesses, residents and football fans. Their comments will inform our progress.”