Container Mall Developers Hope to Regenerate Centre of Newcastle, UK
Could a shipping container mall revive the centre of Newcastle in England? Nearly every city in the world has a carbuncle of derelict land near their centres where antisocial behaviour reigns and the general population avoids.
The hope is that by having bars, restaurants and boutique shops in a currently struggling part of the former shipbuilding city in the Northeast of England, so it may be possible to inject money and life into this sad and empty part.
A stack of hope in Newcastle
The site in Newcastle is where a theatre, later turned into a cinema, sat for nearly 80 years. It used to be one of the most happening parts of the town, but the cinema closed early in the 2000’s and with the cinema’s closure so the lights were turned out on the life of this part of town.
In 2017 property developers Bradley Hall proposed the Stack development to the city council. According to the local Chronicle newspaper, Tim Aisbitt of Bradley Hall said “This innovative development is set to provide national and local retail and leisure operators with a unique trading space in a prime position in the centre of Newcastle. Stack is set to support local enterprise by presenting the rare opportunity for start-ups and SME’s to gain a city centre presence adjacent to region’s busiest high street. The development will also host a variety of different events and is set to be a real hub in what is the first of its kind in the region.”
The plan is for this to operate for three years before it is replaced with a permanent development.
Beer will draw in the crowds!
Not unlike Aussies, Poms love their beer. Erect a few bars that look cool and offer a place for students to drink while not ensconced in their studies, and so the economy should thrive. This has caused some consternation among the law enforcement community and many community groups who point out that people with too much beer in them become disinhibited and behave rather differently to sober shoppers.
Earlier in 2018 it was announced that half the establishments in the Stack development would be able to serve booze. While only five are bars and the restaurants can only serve booze with food, this worried some of the locals. James Rankin, representing Endless Stretch who are in opposition to the licence, said to the local newspaper: “It’s a very large step up from the original proposal. What you will be doing is granting a large vertical drinking bar.” While the booze license is only from 10 in the morning until midnight, that still represents 14 hours of the day for people to drop by to get loaded.
The other half of the Stack development will be local startup businesses and larger boutique chains. This should ensure life in the area for 16 hours a day. With crowds of people there, the worst antisocial behaviour such as: drug taking, vandalism and attacks on lone walkers, should abate as the crowds may well self-police. It will help that police will be in the area in some force on Friday and Saturday evenings before people pile into the nightclubs.
Not the first shipping container mall
There have been good and bad examples of shipping container malls that have either done extremely well or sunk like a stone. It usually comes down to business planning and whether the economy will stand it. Newcastle is emerging from years of despair brought about by the closure of its shipyards. Even so, the prospect of the UK leaving the European Union could put a big dampener on the economy. Business is always a risk – even in boom times ventures can and do fail. We wish Bradley Hall luck with this, as business is often as much about how lucky you are, rather than how good a business person you are.
Enjoyed this blog? Visit the Gateway Gazette for more insights on the world of shipping containers. Contact Gateway Container Sales & Hire for all your secondhand shipping container needs for sale & hire or modification.