A hearing on Tuesday 22 October with Newcastle City Council's licensing sub-committee’s granted a licence for alcohol sale at the venue’s pavilion, which is operated by the Students’ Union.
This addressed feedback given in the focus review group meetings prior to the redevelopment, in which students voiced the need for a space to provide pre- and post-match refreshments was essential, which is something that NUSU were asked to provide on behalf of our students.
"Having the pavilion balcony so that teams can watch games and support other University teams will really add to the team spirit and culture that we’re developing here as Newcastle Sport"
Joe Gubbins, AU Officer
Athletics Union Officer Joe Gubbins said: “The redevelopment of the facilities and pavilion at Cochrane Park is a massive boost to our students. Not only do we have top quality sporting facilities to play on but it also allows that team culture to grow and is vastly better for spectators. Having the pavilion balcony so that teams can watch games and support other University teams either before or after their own games will really add to the team spirit and culture that we’re developing here as Newcastle Sport. The bar is a great addition as a space to relax after games or grab a hot drink for winter afternoons while supporting on the sidelines.”
A group of neighbours had objected to the proposals over fears of noise and unruly behaviour", leading to the creation a petition signed by residents stating that the licensing will "cause a public nuisance for residents living nearby", particularly due to the proximity of young families or elderly residents. One critic of the licensing plans argued: "I am concerned about drunk and disorderly behaviour that will inevitably come. Whether it is just loud, yobbish behaviour at bus stops or tipping over people's bins, to the vandalism of people's cars and property." However, none of these concerned neighbours attended the hearing last Tuesday.
Graham Hattam, the Students’ Union's Director of Commercial, addressed the concerns: "While we appreciate the concerns of residents, we have tried to engage with them to address those concerns and unfortunately have been unsuccessful."