Boldon-based HLA Services has secured a double sponsorship with South Shields FC.

The company is sponsoring club manager, former Sunderland FC legend, Kevin Phillips, during the current 2022/23 season and the newly launched HLA Mariners Business Club.

The business club aims to connect South Shields FC and its current partners with the local, regional and international business community, along with supporting businesses to achieve their own objectives.

Established in 1888, the growing South Tyneside club plays in the Northern Premier League, the seventh tier of the English football pyramid and is based at 1st Cloud Arena, Mariners Park, Jarrow. The Mariners have enjoyed an impressive spell since local businessman Geoff Thompson took over as chairman in 2015, including a historic FA Vase triumph at Wembley in front of 15,000 fans who had travelled down from the North East. The 2021-22 season saw South Shields FC become fully professional and its ambition is to compete in the Football League.

This year, the appointment of Kevin Phillips as manager further signalled its intent along with the arrival of executive director Glen Stidolph, whose remit is to develop the commercial growth of the club. As well as its ambition to gain a place in the Football League, the Mariners place community engagement at the heart of the club. Its charitable arm, South Shields FC Foundation, runs the club’s junior teams and has delivered a value of £10 million in social impact into South Tyneside over the past three years.

Neil Henry, director at HLA Services, said: “As a South Tyneside-based business, we are committed to giving back where we can to our local community. The club is ambitious and is working hard to develop young, footballing talent and to connect with the business community.

“Sponsoring Kevin Phillips is a huge coup for us and we also saw the opportunity to support the club with the launch of the HLA Mariners Business Club. Its aim is to encourage inter-trade between club partners and provide pro-active networking opportunities.

“Both of these sponsorships will undoubtedly increase awareness of our brand across the region given that South Shields FC has such a high profile.”

HLA Services is one of the North East’s leading full-mechanical, air conditioning, climate change and temperature control specialists. Employing more than 100 people, it has satellite offices in Cumbria and North Yorkshire and has recently established a new office in Teesside to meet growing demand for its services. The company has, over the years, backed a number of community grass roots sports teams and has so far fitted 16 life-saving defibrillators across South Tyneside and Wearside, after teaming up with the Red Sky Foundation, which is committed to installing the life-saving devices across the region.

Executive director of South Shields FC, Glen Stidolph, said: “Running a business post-Covid is tough, and running a football club is no different. We are focused on achieving success on and off the pitch with the target of Football League football, while achieving a sustainable business model. As such, we are delighted to welcome HLA as title sponsor of the new business club and as the season sponsor for Kevin Phillips.

“The sponsorship from HLA is a great example of the club’s ability to attract the attention of a well-respected regional company, alongside the growing national and international partnerships we’re building at the club.”