Construction work on one Sunderland’s most exciting developments has restarted after it was closed down due to the Covid-19 crisis.
STACK Seaburn, which was due to open its doors earlier in the the year, had to be halted three months ago as part of the pandemic lockdown.
But now construction has restarted on the hotly anticipated development, North East developer Danieli Holdings has set an opening date of Friday, August 28, in time for the summer Bank Holiday weekend.
STACK will be built from shipping containers that are assembled to make an enclosed village, that can operate in all weather conditions, creating a unique space for enhanced lifestyle experiences, with a focus on community wellbeing, socialising, events and a mix of independent street food and casual dining.
Work had been progressing well before the pandemic-led closure, with a number of the shipping containers in place. But like other developments across the North East, work ground to a halt, as lockdown measures prevented all-but-essential workers from leaving home.
Neill Winch, CEO of Danieli Holdings, said: “We’re delighted to be able to give the green light for work to restart on STACK Seaburn, which will add a unique new offer to the city – a place families of all ages can enjoy.
“As lockdown measures begin to be eased, not only does it pave the way for building work to restart, but it also means that we can look forward to venues like ours reopening their doors to welcome customers.
“The open-air environment in STACK venues is something that we know will appeal as we come through this crisis, and we’re very much looking forward to a busy end to the summer, as people make up for lost time, socialising with friends and family and enjoying the long summer evenings. We can’t wait to bring this fantastic concept venue to the city.”
The company’s focus is on developing a community space where people come together through music, sport, events and regular pop ups, while making the most of the seafront destination with a range of indoor and outdoor activities.
STACK venues also offer space for a range of independent businesses – including eateries and ‘lifestyle service’ businesses, like hairdressers and cycle hire companies – to set up shop and sell their services.
The venue is expected to house a range of street food providers, and has already signed deals with a number of locally based businesses who will be taking space within the eye-catching venue.
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “It’s great to see work get back underway on a development that will breathe new life into Sunderland’s seaside.
“We have a wonderful beach, that has been well used by residents taking exercise during lockdown, and we know that – when leisure and hospitality venues reopen – many will want to enjoy a day at the seaside, catching up with friends and family.
“Having an incredible open-air venue like STACK Seaburn will be a huge asset to the city, and we’re delighted to see work resume, with a view to getting this venue open for people to enjoy over the next few months.
“Investment is underway across Sunderland, including significant developments in the city centre.
“Sunderland is being transformed, and the seafront is an asset that we must maximise if the city is to become a vibrant, dynamic city, where more people want to live, work and play.”
STACK is one of a number of positive seaside developments set to move forward, transforming the area into a vibrant place to live and play. Adjacent to STACK, on the site of the former Pullman Lodge, work has begun on The Seaburn Inn, a new 40-bedroom pub with rooms being built by multi-award-winning The Inn Collection Group.
The inn with rooms, which will include an outdoor family play area for customers to enjoy, is the latest development from North East headquartered Inn Collection Group, which also has inns in Blyth, Amble, The Lake District and Bamburgh.
And peppered along the coastline stand a number of under-used and historic buildings, which are also set to be transformed with more than £800k committed to bring them back into use.
Plans will see a former toilet block at Roker, along with the former Bay Shelter and the old tram shelter at Seaburn, transformed into cafés and restaurants, and 12 beach huts will also be added along the seafront.
This will build on stunning landscaping works undertaken within the last decade, which saw new sculptures and public art added to the promenade to create a more attractive seafront vista.
There are also plans for upgrades to the infrastructure of Seaburn Camp to make it better for touring caravans.
Roker is also looking forward to welcoming Phase 2 of Pier Point, which will build on the success of the first development that saw a range of cafes and eateries pop up along the coastline.
The second phase is underway, and will add to the range of places for residents and visitors to enjoy.