Work on a delayed Stack venue in Bishop Auckland will begin in January, bosses at the leisure firm have said.

Plans for the site on Newgate Street in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, were approved back in March, with work initially set to start in November.

But it has now been confirmed demolition of the current building, which housed a former butcher’s shop and WHSmith, will take place in January.

The building will be flattened with a new permanent building in its place, as opposed to shipping containers. Building work will then begin in March.

Stack is known for its bustling leisure venues including at Seaburn and a now-closed site in Newcastle.

Neill Winch, CEO of STACK, is delighted the project is getting underway.

The Northern Echo: How it is hoped the new venue in Bishop Auckland will look.How it is hoped the new venue in Bishop Auckland will look. (Image: Durham County Council)

“We are very excited about getting started on STACK Bishop Auckland early in the new year,” he said.

“We have ensured that the process of demolishing the existing buildings is one which may not be the fastest but is certainly one which causse minimum inconvenience to everyone, as well as allowing us to reuse many of the materials.

“We know people are very anxious to see STACK Bishop Auckland open its door and we are now right on course to bring our plans to fruition.”

It was initially hoped the venue would be ready to open in early 2024.

Bosses then issued an update in October to this newspaper saying work would begin within a month, but demolition is now set to start in January.

Once complete the new venue will have a selection of bars and street food vendors based around a central ‘plaza’ area.

The Northern Echo: The old building in Bishop Auckland which will be demolished. A site compound is set to move in within weeks, Stack said.The old building in Bishop Auckland which will be demolished. A site compound is set to move in within weeks, Stack said. (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

The first floor will house tables and benches surrounding an atrium which overlooks the stage and plaza below. On the second floor/roof level will be more tables and benches with another bar, all overlooking the town.

The company says it will host daily live entertainment and a platform for local businesses. It is said the venue will generate 75 new jobs while also increasing and encouraging tourism.

Cllr Elizabeth Scott from Durham County Council said: “Our ambitious regeneration plans for the town are now in full swing and we are very much looking forward to welcoming STACK to the high street.

“Visible progress is being made on site as well as across the town as we work with our partners to breathe new life to the area.

“Bringing vacant buildings back into use to create an even more diverse and dynamic offer across the town centre, is just one element of the exciting future for Bishop Auckland.

“We want to shine a spotlight on the town as a vibrant destination, with its food and leisure offer helping to attract local people as well as those from across the county and beyond.”

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

It expanded to Seaburn in September 2020 at the height of lockdown.

Following the success of the initial venues bosses rapidly announced plans for several sites across the region, although none yet opened.

The firm recently announced its shipping container venue in Middlesbrough will open in early 2024.

A site in Durham was approved back in April.

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In September plans for a Stack fanzone outside St James Park in Newcastle, built in partnership with NUFC sponsors Sela, were given the green light. An opening date of Spring 2024 has been floated.

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

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