Home North East Blue Star on The Rise after sponsorship deal

Blue Star on The Rise after sponsorship deal

Young footballers from Newcastle Blue Star with Lee McGray (left) and Dean Walker

A community football club has secured a sponsorship deal, ensuring its under 16 team ended up on ‘The Rise’.

The young players from Newcastle Blue Star FC, visited sponsor, New Tyne West Development Company (NTWDC), at The Rise development, in Scotswood. They witnessed how the regeneration partnership’s rejuvenation of the west end of Newcastle has mirrored the club’s own re-emergence.

The original Blue Star, founded in 1930, was wound up due to off the field troubles in 2009 but reformed in 2018, merging with Grainger Park and establishing an impressive set up, with teams ranging from under eights to senior level football.

Coach, Dean Walker, explains why sponsorship like that provided by NTWDC goes a long way in support his under 16 team.

“Our aim is to offer a nurturing environment for our young people where they can grow as footballers and individuals. This sponsorship means we can provide kit to each player, which gives them a real sense of pride and ownership, whist also improving our training facilities for the benefit of the whole club, raising the quality of the sessions we can deliver.”

“NTWDC has been involved in sponsoring youth football in Scotswood since 2013, well before the re-appearance of Blue Star – when we were still Grainger Park Boys Club. That investment has had a positive impact on so many young people’s lives, many of whom are now taking their first steps into the world of adult football.”

Lee McGray, NTWDC Director, said: “We are delighted to again be supporting a progressive football club that is making exceptional strides both on and off the pitch, establishing a real community asset for the people of Scotswood.

“There are parallels with our own ambitious regeneration programme, which has already seen over 400 high quality affordable new homes created for local people. This vibrant part of the city really is evolving.”

The NTWDC – a partnership between Newcastle City Council and Keepmoat Homes – was established in 2013 to breathe new life into the west of the city through a £265 million, housing led regeneration programme.

Since building began in 2013, more than 400 homes have been completed – 332 for private sale and the remainder for affordable rent and shared ownership.

Local community and charity groups have benefitted from up to £75,000 each year from a fund set up to support a range of educational, art and environmental initiatives, celebrating the area’s history.

Access to employment, schools and non-development apprenticeships projects have also been backed, whilst on site, an estimated 50 jobs have been created and 18 apprentices started.

Newcastle’s City Council’s Cabinet Member for Development, Neighbourhoods and Transport, Cllr Ged Bell, said: “Good regeneration is not just about buildings. It is about helping people reach their full potential in life. Sport is a powerful driver for this, enabling all of us – not just children – to develop confidence and strong social connections.”

“I applaud NTWDC for supporting young people through this sponsorship deal and wish the Under 16’s team all the very best.”

The latest phase of development at The Rise has benefited from a £2.9 million grant from the North of Tyne Combined Authority’s £24m Brownfield Housing Programme.

Mayor Norma Redfearn CBE, chair of the North of Tyne Combined Authority Housing and Land Board, said: “This is a wonderful move by NTWDC and I’d like to wish Newcastle Blue Star all the best.

“It goes to show how investment in the regeneration of brownfield land can have positive knock-on effects for communities and local people.”