• 29 September 2023


PLANS to create a roof terrace as part of an exciting new leisure development in Whitley Bay were given the green light by councillors this week (Wed 27 September).

A proposal to create a STACK at the 113-year-old Empress Ballroom was revealed in May and now the scheme is one step closer, after the proposal to build an external roof terrace was agreed.

Plans by the previous owner to turn the listed building into a leisure outlet were shelved because of covid and the ballroom has stood empty, even though planning permission to use it for that purpose existed.

The owner of STACK – which has a number of schemes currently in development – has applied for a variation of those permissions, to ensure the building can conform with STACK’s signature brand.

Neill Winch, CEO of STACK, is delighted with the outcome.

“We are committed to creating a fantastic leisure venue in Whitley Bay which we believe will be a huge asset to the town,” he said.

“And we are continuing to work with North Tyneside Council to gain full approval for all internal changes to the listed building.”

Landlord Mark Holmes added: “There has been lots of hard work behind the scenes in conjunction with Stack and North Tyneside Council and now we have agreement for the outdoor terrace which will be a great addition to the whole exciting development.

This is a large private investment in the area in an iconic building and we are looking forward to showing it to the public as this now helps make the whole project viable for the long term as we move closer to providing a great quality entertainment venue for Whitley Bay. “

Built in 1910, the Ballroom – which regularly hosted upwards of 750 dancers – went on to become the Carlton Club bingo hall before lying empty and falling into disrepair.

STACK’s scheme would see Whitley Bay following along the lines of the company’s signature look, with a stage for live entertainment and street food and bars.

STACK is becoming one of the UK’s fastest growing leisure brands. Along with the highly successful STACK Seaburn in Sunderland, two new schemes are currently underway in Newcastle – including the creation of a Fanzone in conjunction with Newcastle United FC.

Other STACK sites under development are in Durham, Middlesbrough, Bishop Auckland, Carlisle, Northampton and Lincoln, with the former Hatch container village in Manchester now being transformed into a STACK.