Matthew Neville

Mackem STACK creates more than 200 Sunderland jobs

A leisure complex which opened its doors in Sunderland just over a year ago is celebrating being fully let and creating more than 200 jobs.

Despite opening during the pandemic, STACK Seaburn has become a local dining hub with its mix of street food offerings, lifestyle businesses, and entertainment, with more than 700,000 people having visited.

The complex has now seen all of its 12 units filled by independent businesses, following a “carefully curated procedure” to ensure that the right mix of traders took up residence.

Gemma Dishman, marketing and special projects manager for the Danieli Group which owns STACK, said: “It was very important to us from the outset that we attracted businesses for the external units that would not offer traditional retail products which are increasingly being purchased online.

“Our focus has been on recruiting lifestyle businesses such as the barbershop and brow bar, or Woofs N Scruffs who complement their traditional retail offer of dog supplies with dog grooming and self-serve dog baths.”

The “container village” has also given new businesses a start, notably 19-year-old Laura Benson who has opened the brow bar, Arch.

Laura noted: “The small units and low rent at STACK have made this all possible. I have received so much support from the STACK team including marketing and business start-up advice.

“This gave me the confidence to make my business idea a reality and I now have a regular client base that continues to grow.”

Danieli Group CEO, Neil Winch, added: “STACK is a hub where independent businesses can prosper and we do everything we can to drive footfall to the venue to ensure they all have the opportunity for success.”

“We spend over £20k a month on free entertainment for our customers to keep bringing them back time and time again. We also support the traders with marketing through our social media channels, emailers and our big screens to help raise their profile.”

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