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Stack Vendors Reveal Future Plans as They Call for Local Help

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Food vendors at Stack Newcastle have said they will be sad to say goodbye to the venue when it closes in May but plan to go out with a bang as they cook up something special for their final few weeks there.

Stack Newcastle on Pilgrim Street has been a huge part of the city’s thriving hospitality scene for the last four years, but on May 2 it will close for good to make way for an office block housing 9,000 HMRC staff. Opening in 2018, The food, drink, and shopping hub made up of shipping containers, has been home to a number of independent businesses over the years, including Sushi Me Rollin’ and Texas Smoker.

As the sad news was announced yesterday afternoon via social media, they have urged customers to support them during their last six weeks at the site so they can go out on a high.

 

Popular Greek street food vendor, Acropolis, has been at Stack for nearly two years. Owners Filip Tachan, Viktor Tachan, and Yusuf Yenil promised customers they will be doing “something special” to celebrate the final few weeks, with details to be announced. They said: “The past 20 months have been amazing at Stack Newcastle. We have thoroughly enjoyed being part of this vibrant venue and are devastated that it will be closing, however, we always knew it was a temporary scheme.

“Since opening our doors in July 2020, we have become part of an amazing hub of independent businesses and very much feel part of the Stack community. We’ll be sad to see the venue leave Newcastle but would like to assure our customers that they can still enjoy their Greek fix from the Grainger Market, By The River Brew Co, and, of course, Stack Seaburn.

Redhead’s Mac ‘N’ Cheese, which opened in the Stack last year, praised the venue for the boost it has given to growing businesses. Staff at the site will now work on its street food venture and the business will continue to operate at the Grainger Market and Quayside Market. Director Jamie Pagett said: “We have a great time at the Stack. It’s been a great location to promote our growing brand and we have thoroughly enjoyed our time trading there.

“Our current plans for the future include our fantastic Grainger Market store and street food venture.”

Hatch76 and Bao Down promised customers an “amazing last six weeks” as the businesses looked forward to the future. Alex Hindson, who owns both outlets, said he will be making plans with the staff on the next steps for the businesses.“Stack has been a perfect starting block for my small business and it has been great to see many other independent businesses thrive here,” he said.

“Having the support from everyone at Stack and the other traders has been good for the business and allowed me to grow beyond Stack. Although I’m sad it has come to an end, it was never meant to be permanent.

“We have built a fantastic foundation at Stack and we’ve got great plans for the future. We hope to have an amazing last six weeks, and from there I’m confident things can only go onwards and upwards.”

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Best Day Date Ideas in the North East

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Bowling

If the weather is looking too grim to be outdoors, bowling is always a great idea. Who doesn’t love a bit of competition? No cheating though. By this we mean, putting the sides up or using the ramp! Scoring zero without them is better than scoring a strike with them. At least in our books anyways. Plus, if you lose, you can challenge your date to a game in the arcade centre afterwards to even the scores.

Credit: Ella Christenson

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Business

Disabled Teen Denied Wetherspoon’s Entry With Assistance Dog

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A disabled teenager said he felt ‘absolutely humiliated’ after he was refused entry to a Wetherspoons with his assistance dog. 19 year old River Cartledge, who has autism, fibromyalgia and arthritis – takes his assistance dog Chico most places with him.

Video footage below from Instagram shows him pleading with security guards and the manager of The Five Swans in Newcastle to let him inside the pub with his harnessed up Shih Tzu on Saturday night.

River said: “Their issue was the fact he was an assistance dog, and not a guide dog.

“I quoted the Equality Act 2010, and the guide for all businesses, both of which any business that’s open to the public like any Wetherspoons is, have to abide by legally, regardless of any “policy” they may have in place,” he added.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits service providers, including taxis and restaurants, from discriminating against those who need an assistance dog with them. It also requires service providers to make reasonable adjustments for disabled customers.

River claimed he had a ‘severe meltdown and panic attack’ after the interaction. ‘I have never had an experience like this and it caused me to have a medical episode.’

Chico has belonged to River for eight years and was trained as an assistance dog two years ago. River said: “Assistance dog handlers such as myself get denied in public places more often than it’s talked about, and it always makes us feel like this, and like we’re the ones causing problems for ourselves by needing a dog, when in reality it’s the ableism and ignorance of other people, not the disabled person.”

He also added “‘I was straight up told that they only allowed seeing eye dogs and they didn’t allow assistance dogs, because of their “policy”.

According to Guide Dogs UK ‘75% of all assistance dog owners surveyed [in 2015] said they had been refused access to a service at some point because they had an assistance dog with them’. 

Five Swans: sign saying they allow assistance dogs *face palm*

Wetherspoons’ policy states: “We do allow registered assistance dogs.

“In these circumstances, and to avoid any confusion or unnecessary upset, ensure that your dog is wearing its recognisable leash/collar or harness. 

“It would also be helpful if you could bring along suitable documentation to explain your dog’s purpose.”

River said he had ID from Assistance Dogs UK, a certification body, with him but was unable to show it at the time. Chico was however wearing a harness.

Following the complaint to the pub chain, Wetherspoon’s spokesperson Eddie Gershon said: “It was an error not to let them in with the assistance dog.

“It was a genuine error and we apologise wholeheartedly.

“We can understand the fact they would have been upset and frustrated by the situation.

“Assistance dogs are allowed into Wetherspoon pubs and we will reiterate this to staff at the pub and the company’s pubs in general.

“They are more than welcome to visit the pub with the dog.”

Good dog Chico. Check out River and Chico’s adventures here!

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Business

Plans for Sunderland’s Culture House Unveiled

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A unique cultural attraction in Sunderland city centre has been officially given the green light. Culture House – a multi-purpose cultural venue, packed with features and with a year-round programme of activities – has been approved at a Sunderland City Council planning meeting, paving the way for work to start within weeks.

The building, which will combine a state-of-the-art city library and a permanent home for local history and archive collections with spaces for exhibitions, storytelling, learning, gaming, media, arts and crafts, has been designed with heavy input from Sunderland residents, and will stand on the site of the Corner Flag pub, overlooking Keel Square.

A café, a roof garden and welcoming social spaces will make Culture House a “living room in the heart of the city”, and the building will offer an exciting mix of immersive digital experiences and traditional media. Plans were submitted to the planning authority at the end of last year and will now move forward, with a construction partner expected to be announced before the summer.

Patrick Melia, chief executive of Sunderland City Council, said: “Culture House is a staple part of our Riverside Sunderland plan, and I am very much looking forward to seeing it rise from the ground, adding to the magnificent buildings we’re seeing take shape in and around Keel Square. 

“Our plan for the city centre is to create a vibrant new destination, where people can live work and play, and through venues like Culture House, alongside the magnificent Auditorium and our planned £80m Arena, we are delivering more and better places for people to visit and enjoy.”

Culture House has been designed by award-winning, international practice FaulknerBrowns Architects, who also designed the nearby City Hall. The £25m new building will provide more than 75,000sq ft of accommodation on four floors, and the project has secured funding from the Government’s Future High Streets Fund. 

The new building is expected to attract more than half a million visits a year and will draw people from across the city and beyond, contributing to city centre regeneration and enhancing Sunderland’s exciting cultural offer.

Culture House is a key part of the Riverside Sunderland delivery plan, which sets out a transformational vision to create a vibrant, mixed-use site. The plans will see 1,000 new homes for up to 2,500 new residents arrive on Riverside Sunderland, as well as a range of new places to enjoy – including parkland both sides of the river, connected by a new pedestrian crossing. The plans will boost the number of people living and working in the heart of the city, creating a stronger daytime and evening economy by doubling the resident population of the city centre from 2,500 to 5,000 and increasing employment by 50% to 18,000.

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