NUST reported earlier this year that a number of Trust Board members had been invited to meet Tyneside based developers Tolent regarding their plans to develop land behind the Gallowgate End adjacent to the Metro Station (See Here
). NUST explained our concerns regarding how any development would limit any future ground extension. To be fair to Tolent they were well prepared for the meeting and outlined how the ground could still be extended notwithstanding their own development.
NUST later learnt that Tolent were no longer proceeding with the development, their MD confirming via the media that Mike Ashley was proposing to proceed with the development himself.
After a period of quiet, NUST were recently requested to attend a meeting with "developer representatives" to explain the latest proposals. At the meeting it became clear that the representatives were reluctant to disclose who they were acting on behalf of - but when pushed accepted it was on behalf of a Mike Ashley controlled company - and furthermore it was clear that any development excluded any possible extension to the Gallowgate. Indeed the representatives seemed oblivious to the fact that any possible extension had even been subject to any previous discussion.
NUST representatives at the meeting concluded that on the information available the development of the land will be of no financial benefit to NUFC and in addition it confirms that the Club has no intention of exploring opportunities to extend the Gallowgate End. This is disappointing given the lease over the land was originally intended to benefit the club and a number of Premier League clubs are currently extending their grounds beyond the capacity of St. James' Park.
NUST will keep members informed of developments.