Exciting Community Move On The Horizon

Middlesbrough Borough Council and Middlesbrough FC Foundation are in ongoing discussions regarding a proposal and plans to relocate the Foundation’s Headquarters from the Riverside Stadium to a brand-new Southlands Centre in an exciting move that will include an extensive community provision.

It is hoped that the discussions can be successfully concluded with final plans and funding arrangements made later this year.

The Foundation, which aims to raise aspirations, help realise potential and improve the life chances of people across the Tees Valley, will be based at a community centre in TS3, providing a huge boost for East Middlesbrough.

Subject to the planning approval process which is due to begin in early May, the first phase of the development will see the new hub operated by the Foundation, as well as upgrades to the current 3G and grass football pitches, new green open space and new sports changing facilities, in partnership with Middlesbrough Council.   Further phases to add to the site with additional facilities are also being discussed.

Mayor Chris Cooke has praised plans for the area and welcomed the Foundation, which exists to raise aspirations, help to realise potential and improve life chances across the region. He said: “It’s taken a long time to get to this point, but I’m delighted to be working with the Foundation as a partner to deliver this ambitious and much-needed project.

“The Southlands site is a key asset in the town, and I know that the people of East Middlesbrough will welcome this high-quality development.

“The new facility will be a community asset, help to boost the physical and mental health of our population and provide a state-of-the-art venue for sports and the community.”


Cllr Theo Furness, Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “The redeveloped Southlands site will host a wide range of activities for everyone in the community, and it’s fantastic news that the Foundation are involved.

“Having played for Middlesbrough as a youth, I understand how important the Football Club and the Foundation are to the town, and having a top-class facility on our doorstep will help to inspire the next generation of sports stars.”

Lynsey Edwards, Head of Middlesbrough FC Foundation, said: “We’re delighted with the progress made in our discussions with the Council and excited at the prospect of relocating the Foundation’s headquarters to Southlands, East Middlesbrough. The Southlands facility will provide a wide range of activity in the heart of the community, and we feel privileged to be working with the Council and the Community to develop this offer.”

The Southlands Project Representative Group, made up of Independent and Labour councillors in TS3 wards Park End and Beckfield, Brambles and Thorntree and Berwick Hills and Pallister plus local residents and the town’s two MPs, have worked closely with the council to bring forward plans for the site.

The group said in a statement: “The group is excited to see plans progress to restore the Southlands Centre as the heart of our community.

“Having the Foundation on board will help to encourage our young people to use the facility and take part in sport and physical activity.

“A lot of hard work has gone in to get to this point by everyone involved and we’re looking forward to seeing that pay off.”

Proposals set to be submitted to the Council’s planning department would see the revamped Southlands host a wide range of provision including football, other physical activity, mentoring and education.

Grassroots sports clubs and other organisations would also use the site.

The community hub – featuring community rooms, a hall and a multi-use education room along with a social area – would also host workshops, employability, education, mentoring and social sessions.

Currently, the Foundation engages with 38,000 people a year, of all ages and backgrounds across the Tees Valley, in a wide range of activities.

They work with people aged two to 102 – from running Roary’s Academy for young children to the Foundation’s Dementia Care Home work.