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North East leisure brand snaps up popular Manchester site

Hatch, courtesy Bruntwood

Bruntwood has sold its popular Hatch retail and leisure space to North East leisure brand Stack.

The site, on Manchester’s Oxford Road corridor in the heart of the city’s student district, will close on September 30 for redevelopment, subject to an in-progress joint planning application. ÖL Brewery will remain open throughout the process.

The Hatch brand will disappear and the site will become part of the Stack brand. Stack said the new site will feature a larger footprint and more opportunities for traders in the city it is claimed.

Stack first launched in Newcastle and also has a successful site at Seaburn, Sunderland. Further sites are under development in Durham, Whitley Bay, Bishop Auckland, Middlesbrough, Lincoln, Northampton, and Carlisle, along with a new Tyneside home.

Hatch, which opened in December 2017, was already strikingly similar to the Stack model of creating leisure hubs out of shipping containers and empty retail properties to offer street food and bars set around a central plaza with a stage and giant screen.

All food and beverage traders at Hatch will be given priority during the selection process if they choose to apply for a unit within the newly created Stack when it reopens. Permanent site staff are currently undergoing a period of consultation.

Manchester’s leisure tsar Sacha Lord has also stepped in and asked anyone who is losing their job as a result of the sale to contact him for a role at The Warehouse Project.

Peter Bearpark, asset management director at Bruntwood, said: “We are incredibly proud of what we accomplished at Hatch. Originally conceived as an idea for how to utilise unused space while Circle Square was in development, it has been a success in terms of the vision we set out for it – supporting start-up businesses, allowing brands to experiment, grow and thrive, and creating a place for people to enjoy excellent food, drink and shopping.

“It’s always hard to say goodbye to a site that we are proud of, but now is the right time for Stack to take it to the next stage in its development.”

Neill Winch, chief executive of Stack added: “Stack is already a proven concept which has had huge success in its native North East, in both Sunderland and Newcastle and is currently developing a whole host of new sites across the country. It operates as both a visitor attraction and a much-loved facility for local residents and we look forward to showing Manchester what we have to offer.”

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