Newcastle Rugby have announced that they have taken control of Championship One side Gateshead Thunder, who will join Newcastle Falcons within the company.
The coaching staff, which is led by Stanley Gene, will stay at the club, while funds for players are available in a bid to strengthen the squad.
The team will stay at the Gateshead International Stadium for the rest of the season, while the name, team colours and club logo will all remain as they are.
Newcastle Rugby Ltd chairman Semore Kurdi said: "I'm delighted that Gateshead Thunder has become part of Newcastle Rugby Ltd. There are a number of benefits to having both league and union clubs within the same organisation. Resources can be shared off the field in terms of administration, marketing, medical, sports science and facilities that will be to the advantage of both clubs.
"We look forward to the second half of the season now with Thunder with our aim being promotion to the next tier. With rugby league now re-introducing promotion and relegation between the various levels there is a clear path through to Super League.
"To reach Super League will be our long term goal. There is now a target date for this goal and if we do achieve it we will have earned our place by growth on and off the field and by becoming a sustainable club."
Gateshead are currently seventh in Championship One.