STACK Durham’s opening date has been pushed back as boss admits delays

The company, known for converting shipping containers into busy leisure facilities, planned to turn the former M&S on Silver Street, Durham, green in April.

The ground floor of the unit was occupied by the Yorkshire Trading Company, which closed its doors in early June to make way for Stack.

Read more: STACK opens new multi-level venue in Durham city center after plans were approved

But the discount store’s “closing” signs still hang in the windows and the venue appears to be untouched within three months, even though Stack had originally said he hoped to open in Durham this winter.

Stack bosses now said they had experienced “unforeseen delays” but said work was progressing.

The Northern Echo: What the front of the new Stack venue in Durham could look like according to plans.What the front of the new Stack venue in Durham could look like under the plans. (Image: The Northern Echo)

Neil Winch, CEO of Stack, told The Northern Echo: “We are delighted with the project in Durham, which is now starting to roll out despite some unforeseen delays.”

“This is a very large project and a lot of work is being done behind the scenes with designers, civil engineers, etc.”

“Asbestos removal and interior demolition will begin in the next four to six weeks, so we are making progress again.”

Once built, the Durham location will host food vendors, live music and events.

There will be eight food vendors on the ground floor and two floor areas around a central “plaza” seating area. Live music and comedy take place on a stage.

The Northern Echo: Silver Street unit in Durham remains empty six months after plans were approved.The Silver Street unit in Durham remains empty six months after plans were approved. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

There will be four more food vendors and two more bars on the first floor, while a gaming area is planned on the second floor.

A license to sell alcohol from Monday to Thursday between 10am and 12pm, extended to 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, was also approved.

Read more: You’ll never guess where Newcastle STACK is stored (it’s actually very obvious)

The planning permit was approved in April despite some opposition from locals, including some who expressed concerns about a paved side road being used as an emergency exit route.

Cllr Carl Marshall said at the time: “This is not only a facility that will attract stag parties but will really diversify the offering in Durham and the wider county.”

The Northern Echo: The interior of the unit appears to have remained untouched to passers-by looking through the storefront window.To passersby looking through the storefront window, the interior of the unit appears to have remained untouched. (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

Stack first opened on Newcastle’s Pilgrim Street in 2018 and quickly grew in popularity, becoming one of the city’s busiest venues. It was forced to close in May last year to make way for new government offices to be built on the site of the former Odeon cinema.

In September 2020, at the height of lockdown, the business expanded to Seaburn.

Following the success of the initial venues, bosses quickly announced plans for multiple sites in the area, although none have opened yet.

The company recently announced that its Middlesbrough container depot will open in early 2024.

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A purpose-built site in Bishop Auckland on the former WHSmith and Mothercare units was also approved in March this year.

Last month, plans for a Stack fan zone outside Newcastle’s St James Park, built in partnership with NUFC sponsor Sela, were given the green light. Spring 2024 was announced as the opening date.

Plans are also in the works for a permanent location at Worswick Chambers on Pilgrim Street in the city, just a stone’s throw from Stack’s original location. Last November, bosses canceled plans for a pop-up venue behind Central Station following opposition from locals and said they would focus on the permanent site.

Bosses are also working on sites in Carlisle, Northampton and Lincoln, with the former container village of Hatch in Manchester also being converted into a stack.

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