On Tuesday, 21 November at 3pm, Newcastle United Manager, Rafa Benítez, officially opened the multi-use sports pitch at Collingwood College, Durham University.
GSSArchitecture were appointed by the University to lead a consultant design team to assist Collingwood College in developing the site between Collingwood College and South Road into a multi-use games area (MUGA).
The pitch was built thanks to a combination of funding from Collingwood alumni donors, Collingwood students, and Durham University. This was the first phase of a large redevelopment programme at the College. £6 million of alumni donor funding will transform student facilities, including the building of a 200 seater performing arts centre, extended gym with studio space, addition of cricket nets, a new Junior Common Room and social space, and a conservatory with extended decking overlooking the sports pitch.
Collingwood College is home to 65 sports teams across 17 different sports. The Collingwood men’s football club (CCAFC) is believed to have the more members than any other UK men’s team, with 13 teams from the A team down to the M team. The pitch has also enabled the College to expand their volunteering and community outreach activities. Student sports teams have been inviting teams from local schools to train alongside them on the pitch.
Collingwood College Principal, Prof Joe Elliott says: “We are delighted to welcome Rafa Benítez and other guests to Collingwood for this formal dedication of the pitch. It really is a wonderful facility for our men’s, women’s and mixed teams. Thanks to the generosity of our alumni we are able to offer all Collingwood students opportunities to develop their skills, both on and off the pitch.”
Photos courtesy of Samuel Kirkham, Student at Durham University