17 Jun 2022

New Harrison Centre opens at Newcastle United Foundation

The North East’s next generation of digital experts are enjoying new opportunities at the cutting edge of eSTEM learning thanks to a new partnership between the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility and Newcastle United Foundation in its new esports arena.

Harrison Centre founders David and Daniel Harrison visited the new Centre, which has been made possible following a substantial investment from the Harrison Foundation to support digital and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.

 

The official charity arm of Newcastle United will deliver its innovative NU Futures programme to benefit thousands of the region’s young people.

From Newcastle United Foundation’s new community hub – NUCASTLE, powered by Newcastle United Foundation – cohorts of students are building their communication, teamwork and leadership skills through the first and only esports study programme in the North East linked to a Premier League club in NUCASTLE’S esports arena.

The vibrant digital suite hosts 17 individual stations, equipped with PCs and keyboards, esports furniture, gaming and esports management software and more.

 

Newcastle United footballer Joelinton has already been impressed by the esports arena during a recent visit to the centre, as well as Secretary of State for Education Nadhim Zahawi MP who described the STEM and eSTEM work as “levelling up opportunity” for the region’s young people.

Harrison Foundation trustee, Daniel Harrison, said: “The Harrison Foundation’s mission is to give a hand up to people across our region and help them into employment. Having visited NUCASTLE and the esports room many times now, it’s clear to me that this partnership has every chance of being a game-changer for our young people. I was particularly keen to establish one of our Harrison Centres for Social Mobility at NUCASTLE and to support the esports and STEM facilities because they bring together competition, learning and teamwork into an environment that is engaging and fun. It’s a fantastic facility that everyone involved can be proud of. I’m excited to see how it develops over the coming years.”

Andy Foster, Programme Manager at Newcastle United Foundation, said: “NU Futures is an incredibly ambitious programme which we know will support more than 12,000 young people over the next decade to ensure everyone has the opportunity to explore careers in STEM sectors.

“The digital economy is creating rapid growth across the North of Tyne area and students at NUCASTLE are able to develop transferable skills around communication, leadership, strategic thinking and financial planning through esports and STEM learning.

“We are very proud of our shared commitment with the Harrison Foundation to provide the most up-to-date and exciting opportunities to learn and work towards skilled careers available here in the North East.”

Young learners accessing the suite explore all aspects of the growing esports industry, including competitive gaming, livestream event management and game business entrepreneurship, helping to prepare young people for employment in eSTEM and STEM sectors.