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Mike Ashley in controversial £9m St James' land sale

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ACCOUNTS have revealed that Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley made £9m from the sale of a development site on Strawberry Place.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Ashley had sold the plot of land, which is immediately behind the Gallowgate End at St James’ Park, to Durham-based developers Helios Real Estate and Marrico.

The price paid for the land was not known at the time, but it has been published in the most recent set of accounts for MASH Holdings, the umbrella group for Ashley’s multiple business interests.

The sale occurred after the year end date for the most recent accounts published by MASH Holdings, which cover the period to April 30, 2017, but a paragraph contained within the accounts said: “After the reporting date, a contract was entered into, to sell the land owned by Strawberry Place Newcastle Limited for a consideration of £9m.” It is not known how much Ashley paid to acquire the land, but the sale has proved controversial with Newcastle United fans as it seriously limits the possibility of extending St James’ Park and increasing the stadium’s capacity in the future.

Planning permission has already been granted to transform the car park at Strawberry Place into 115,000 square feet of office space, 162 residential apartments and accommodation for 420 students.

The planned £120m development will result in the repositioning of St James’ Metro Station, and is due to begin later this year.

Helios Real Estate claim it will lead to around 1,000 permanent jobs once it is completed.
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