STAXX Aberdeen will bring an innovative new concept to the city center, with an opening date at the end of next summer.
A trio of businessmen hope to bring Aberdeen’s first creative social market to the North East, taking inspiration from some of the UK’s leading social and street food markets.
STAXX Aberdeen will consist primarily of 30 old reused shipping containers and feature a variety of independent businesses, including local street food and craft beverage vendors, fashion, art brands and more.
Shiprow in Aberdeen is the currently proposed site for the project.
Designed to be a hotbed for young start-ups, the concept is to grow the businesses for three to five years in multi-tiered premises by leasing them space in the market, and then scaling their business towards the take-up. charge of a unit in areas like Union Street.
It is based on markets such as Pop Brixton and Boxpark in London, which are modern street food markets with pop-up malls.
The business owners hope to work with partners such as the Robert Gordon University Accelerator Program, the Elevator business support company and Opportunity North East which is developing the private sector, to help position market companies for growth. long-term.
Led by Managing Director Michael Robertson and Communications Director Dugbatey Teye, the duo brought in restaurant partner David Griffiths, AVO, who was named COO.
Michael and Dugbatey, recent real estate graduates from Robert Gordon University who have also worked together on commercial real estate investments, are currently self-financing the project which was developed during the lockdown.
The project is expected to cost between £ 400,000 and £ 1million.
Having lived in London for a year in 2019, Michael drew inspiration from similar markets in the capital to bring his concept to the city.
He estimates that around 30 reused containers will be used to bring the idea to life.
Michael said: “When I lived in London I went to Pop Brixton and couldn’t understand why Aberdeen didn’t have anything like it. I heard that the Aberdeen market was razed and started talking to local businesses about it.
“There is a real need for something like this in the city and 90% of the businesses I spoke with have signed up to participate.
“I would like to develop it by financing real estate development if possible. We are also studying Crowdfunding which would allow the local community to get involved in this community project. We would offer incentives and that sort of thing like other crowdfunding campaigns. The main cost is mostly construction and it really depends on the quality of the materials – whether it’s new containers or reused containers that we use. We would need around £ 400,000 to £ 1million for the whole thing. “
Currently looking for land to house the ambitious project, the team has sights set on various areas of the city center and “are examining a number of promising potential site options.”
Michael added, “We have talked with real estate development finance, but we need the land as collateral. We are looking for spaces where we can store as many containers as possible because we want it to look like other social and street food markets across the country. We have a site offered on Shiprow which is really exciting.
“Once people see the visuals and the vision, they will be able to understand what we hope to achieve. It’s a place where you can go for breakfast, go shopping with your friends, and hang out in the evening for some street food and drinks. ”
David’s expertise in organizing ABZ Market, a monthly food and beverage market within the recently closed Aberdeen Market, was one of the reasons he was selected for the role of Director of Operations.
Help local start-ups
Using an application process, companies interested in entering the market will need to apply to ensure that their brand ethics are in line with that of STAXX. David also hopes that they will be able to start a grant program to help small local start-ups as well.
David said, “Companies will submit their business plans to us and we will be able to determine if they are a good fit for STAXX and its community. Then we’ll put them in touch with the Accelerator program, Opportunity North East, Elevator, and those kinds of businesses that will then help them grow and nurture them.
“We want to consider linking up a grant program that will help people start their businesses. We hope to work with others to provide grants where possible.
“We need a long-term commitment through a deposit that will create a cluster of businesses that will all have access to this support system while developing a community. This will fuel our three to five year contracts. These shorter-term contracts will likely end naturally, as companies realize they need more space, and then they’ll look to areas like Union Street. This then allows new companies to take their place in STAXX and start the process over.
“The idea is that he feeds Union Street with local and independent businesses. The feedback we received from Aberdeen City Council on the initial idea appears to have been very well received. It seems to tick all the boxes with everyone from local government, traders, other businesses as well. “
Sustainability will also be a key goal with Origin, a plastic waste design company that creates items from recycled plastic, using supplier waste to create new items.
Michael said: “For all the vendors selling food on plastic dishes, Origin would then recycle that and make it into a phone case or flowerpot so it’s a zero waste circular economy. We will have a green wall on the front of the facade whose rainwater would feed the plans.
“We’re looking to make it run on clean energy, with an emphasis on being as close to zero waste as possible. Any businesses chosen to be part of the community must also be able to demonstrate their commitment to green business practices. “
STAXX Aberdeen will also host a series of events which will give local singers, bands, artists and artists the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“We also want to do lots of events and will seek to accommodate them at all levels. It is for the people of Aberdeen, but we hope it becomes a major tourist attraction and something that people are actively looking for when visiting the city. There will be arts, fashion, culture and more, ”said Michael.
“Everyone is convinced by the dream, but it is the reality that we have to understand. Practical things like the way we go up a keg of beer one or two stairs, and that sort of thing.
“We will also be doing a lot of charitable work through STAXX and we will also partner with local and international charities.”