With less than two months until the grand opening of STACK, developer Danieli Holdings has announced some of the businesses set to appear at a new £1m project.
Big plans were unveiled earlier this year for Newcastle’s very first shopping and leisure destination using up to 60 shipping containers; STACK.
The development is set to create over 500 jobs on the former Odeon Cinema site in Newcastle and has already begun transforming into the “Container Park” which will launch in early June, just in time for the Great Exhibition of the North.
Now, Danieli Holdings’ chief executive Neill Winch shares a list of business that have come on board as part of what is expected to be Newcastle’s most exciting project to date.
Heaton-based Yoga Therapies, ran by husband and wife team Chris and Deborah Jackson from Whitburn, was keen to be involved after seeing an opportunity to expand their rapidly growing business with a move to Newcastle city centre.
Having only been in business for three years, Chris and Deborah were looking to branch out after rapid growth of their products and services and already outgrowing their current unit.
Yoga Therapies is a yoga studio offering a range of yoga classes for all ages as well as workshops and free or supported classes to their charitable partners, Active Ageing (former Age UK Newcastle) and The Medical Foundation for victims of torture.
Chris Jackson, director, is looking forward to the future of Yoga Therapies and STACK: “We are so excited to be involved in such a great development for the north east. I am a real advocate for keeping things local and am really pleased we’re going to be part of such an amazing project in the area.
“When we saw this opportunity it felt like a natural progression for us, so instead of looking for one larger premise to encompass the space we already have at our Heaton base, we saw this as a better investment and something which just resonated with our brand straight away.
“STACK gives us more scope for special one-off events and public classes and the city centre location couldn’t be more perfect for us.”
Another husband and wife team, Paul and Lucy Hull, have also taken the opportunity to lease a unit from the firm to expand their company, For the Love of the North, which is a platform for north east creatives to exhibit and sell their stock.
The Whitley Bay-based business launched just over a year ago and started out as a website selling locally made prints and gifts online in February 2017 after Paul faced redundancy from his previous role with the local authority, following the closure of the borough’s Tourist Information Centres which Paul managed for several years.
Quickly taking off and watching their business soar but also realising the downside of online only trade, the pair opened a shop on Whitley Road in Whitley Bay just six months later during August 2017.
Paul Hull, who was a finalist in this year’s Visit England and the Daily Mirror Tourism Superstar of the Year said: “Everything is designed and, where possible, created in the north east by local people which is what I think has really given our business the traction it has. “Nothing is mass produced and we quickly realised that locals and tourists really do love the north east and what it has to offer just as much as we do.
“We love the community aspect of STACK and that their focus is helping small businesses in an exciting opportunity which I feel the north has been lacking.
“We really feel like we are proudly shining the light on the north east with this and our products and the ethos of STACK just fit hand-in-hand.
“Not only that, but it’s an extra spotlight on us and the artists, especially during this summer’s Great Exhibition of the North, which couldn’t be timed better.
The third business to be announced is Eatali – a start-up business that will only open its doors for the first time this June when the development launches.
Eatali, owned by Andy Barton of Kenton, came up with the concept due to his background:
“I was a chef for around seven years at an Italian restaurant in Liverpool and I have always loved the simplicity and flavour of authentic Italian food.
“When I relocated to the north east, I ran an online deli and hamper business but just felt like I needed to do something else so decided to look for an outlet to trade from.
“I was nearly on the dotted line for a place on Pilgrim Street when the opportunity for STACK came along. When I saw it, I just knew it was the right place for us.”
Further names are expected to be announced in the coming weeks as only a few remaining containers are available for lease.
Lots of groundworks are currently taking place with the site expected to really take shape in the upcoming three-four weeks.
Neill Winch, chief executive of STACK, added: “The development is moving along well and we’re expecting to see more on site in the coming weeks.
“We’re on track for the planned launch date of June so we’ll be ready ahead of the Great Exhibition of the North.
“Bradley Hall has worked amazingly on the lease of the containers and have only a few left to complete before we’ll be full so we’re really pleased that north east businesses see this as something they’re proud to be part of.”
The creative hub will house over 40 independent bars, delis, restaurants and bespoke shops inside the boxes as well as a changing outdoor area which will develop into something new every quarter.
The STACK will launch with an Enchanted Garden with entertainment followed by the returned of much-loved Hadrian’s Tipi over the autumn/winter months.
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