Fri 22 Sept 2023, 11:43 · NUFCFEED

St. James' STACK coming in Spring 2024 after planning approval granted

St. James' STACK coming in Spring 2024 after planning approval granted
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Newcastle City Council has today formally approved Newcastle United's planning application for a dedicated fan zone adjacent to St. James’ Park on Strawberry Place.

The project, officially titled "St. James’ STACK, powered by Sela", will serve as a "hub for food, beverage, and entertainment". Primarily aimed at people attending matches and other events at the stadium, the venue is also designed to function as a midweek leisure and social gathering place.

In classic STACK style, the fan zone's design utilises repurposed shipping containers, arranged around a central plaza featuring a stage. It's set to open in Spring 2024, with an operational span of three years, as the club deliberates on the future utilisation of the space and a potential Gallowgate expansion of St. James'.

The venue has apparently been "meticulously curated to cater to a broad demographic, including family-oriented events and attractions". It will house six bars and ten street food units and will be supported by the principal shirt sponsor, Sela, which is set to run its own events there in the future.

The St. James' STACK is set to create 150 new jobs and provide opportunities for local businesses to act as vendors or suppliers. It is also hoped that adjacent businesses will benefit from increased footfall around the area, which is currently a disused car park surrounded by security railings.

Additionally, the new facility will work with the Newcastle United Foundation's employability initiative, NU Futures. This collaborative endeavour, which also includes the North of Tyne Combined Authority and local business entities, is dedicated to helping young individuals acquire essential professional skills.

All-in-all, there's a lot to like about the club's plans for the fan zone, but it's a shame it's going to take so long to open. The initial opening date proposed by NUFC was "November 2023", which always seemed ambitious, but we're now looking at March 2024, at best.