Over £3million to be given to controversial plans to redevelop site by Newcastle's St James' Park

Credit LDRS
Artistic impressions show what the area on Strawberry Place could look like, but work on the area stalled when the previous developer - High Street Group-went into administration. Credit: LDRS

Over £3million of public money is planned to boost controversial redevelopment plans in Newcastle.

The money is set to be used in the regeneration of Strawberry Place - the land outside Newcastle United's St James' Park, and on the car park above St James' metro station.

It is believed the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) plans to give almost £3.5million to the redevelopment, which would see new apartment blocks, offices and a hotel in the area.

Mike Ashley, the former owner of NUFC, sold the inner city site in 2019, despite backlash from Newcastle United fans and Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah.

It was claimed the move could cause Newcastle United to move away from its iconic city centre site in the future, if the club wanted to expand.

Despite this city councillors approved £120 million plans for the areas transformation.

Redevelopment plans are now controlled by investment group Reditum Capital, much to the anger of supporters, but stalled when the previous developer High Street Group fell into administration.

The lack of construction work Strawberry Place had sparked some hope amongst fans that the club could try and buy the area back to pursue an extension of the Gallowgate End.

It follows the 2021 take over of NUFC by the Saudi-led consortium, as the new ownership has spoken of wanting to expand St James' Park.

It is said to be working with Newcastle City Council to explore possibilities.

It is believed the development could support nearly 2,000 construction jobs and put £670 million into the region's economy within 10 years. Credit: LDRS

The region's leaders, however, now look set to sign off on grant funding that will help the developers continue building on the site.

On Tuesday, North of Tyne mayor Jamie Driscoll and council leaders from Newcastle, Northumberland, and North Tyneside will be asked to sign off on spending millions of pounds to cover the redevelopment's spiralling costs.

The money worth almost £3.5million would come from the NTCA's Brownfield Housing Fund.

According to the Local Democracy Service, a report states: "The funding will help address the viability gap caused by site remediation and high abnormal costs, including the need for retaining structures, service diversions and highways costs."

It added that the development would support nearly 2,000 construction jobs and put £670 million into the North East's economy within 10 years.

Since 2021, Reditum has been the "person with significant control" at Strawberry Place Developments Limited, a former High Street Group company that was leading the scheme.

A spokesperson for Reditum said: "Strawberry Place Developments Ltd have been working hard for the last two years to bring forward the successful redevelopment of this site.

"We appreciate the support of all our partners and stakeholders in helping to bring this site back into use, provide new jobs and create much needed new homes and business space."

There has been ongoing work to build the headquarters of the Home Group on Strawberry Place. Those plans are entirely separate from the other development planned next to it.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...