Newcastle Falcons have moved a step closer to increasing the capacity of their stadium after Newcastle City Council approved a redevelopment project for Kingston Park.

The 10,000-capacity venue is the home of the English Premiership rugby union club and League 1 rugby league team Newcastle Thunder.

Newcastle Rugby Ltd’s plans include major development work to the North Stand which would raise the stadium’s capacity to 11,730, with additional parking and infrastructure.

Significantly increasing the number of covered seats and hospitality spaces, which Newcastle Rugby noted have sold out on a number of occasions in recent seasons, the plans will also improve training, medical and office facilities.

Semore Kurdi, chairman of Newcastle Falcons, said: “Our home crowds have risen consistently for the past few seasons to the point where we have regularly run out of seats and hospitality places, and it is important that we meet the demand for the increasing number of supporters who wish to attend our games.

“Our new community pitch will further enhance the great links we have with clubs, schools and groups in our region, and the additional training, medical and office space allows our rugby department to continue the improvements they have been making.”

The Council’s cabinet member for inclusive growth, Councillor Ged Bell, told the Newcastle Chronicle newspaper: “As a nationally-recognised team, it (Kingston Park) has helped put Newcastle on the sporting map. However, its current capacity is one of the smallest in the Aviva Premiership so it needed to extend if it is to grow and compete at the highest levels.”

The plans also include the installation of an all-weather community pitch with floodlights and changing rooms which would allow further usage by schools, clubs and community groups as well as college and university teams.

Bell added: “I am particularly pleased the new 4G pitch will be available to the wider community to use, and additional car parking is always welcome as it takes the pressure off parking in residential streets which I know has been an issue in the past.”

IMAGE: Ryder Architecture (from NCC planning portal)