A new partnership will secure the future of popular sporting facilities in Newcastle for years to come.
Roe Lane playing fields will be managed by Newcastle Town Football Club, until 2044, in a new deal with the borough council.
The partnership aims to increase sporting opportunities for children and improve playing facilities for the local community and will include the development of an on-site gym for use by members and residents.
Last summer Newcastle Town FC held the first annual football tournament involving 32 teams from Staffordshire and Cheshire. Its resounding success led to a 65 per cent increase in the use of the fields.
On Sunday, 21 May 2017 there will be an official handover with representatives from the borough council, Gavin Appleby, Director of Youth at Newcastle Town FC, and delegates from Staffordshire Football Association. This will form part of the newly established Festival of Sport in the borough, which runs throughout May.
Councillor Rout said: “Partnership working presents a great opportunity to continue to provide a high quality sporting venue for children and adults participating in football.
“Newcastle Town Football Club can support football development and local healthy and active lifestyles by taking ownership of the Roe Lane facility.
“Newcastle-under-Lyme is home to a wide range of sporting clubs, events, and activities and we are encouraging all of the local community to get involved in the Festival of Sport, which will include a variety of sporting events, taster sessions and open days.”
Gavin Appleby commented: "Being one of the leading clubs in football development in the area, we had been seeking a base for our youth section to supplement the facilities we already have and to expand a greater offering in the local community.
“The opportunity to develop Roe Lane was one we just couldn’t pass up.
“The importance of sport to youngsters and members of our local communities is ever increasing and we hope to play a big part in increased participation. Because of the fantastic facilities we now have, we are now able to do even more exciting developments, such as working with Staffordshire FA on initiatives to encourage hard to reach groups to take part in football. With this being said we are proud to announce that we have been awarded status as hub for Girls and Disability Football.”