STAXX Aberdeen is bringing a new, innovative concept into the city center, which will open in late summer next year.
A trio of business people are hoping to bring Aberdeen’s first creative social market to the North East, taking inspiration from some of the UK’s leading street food and social markets.
Primarily composed of 30 reused former shipping containers, STAXX Aberdeen will feature a wide variety of independent businesses including local street vendors and craft drinks vendors, fashion, art brands and more.
Shiprow in Aberdeen is the currently proposed location for the project.
The concept was conceived as a home for young start-up companies and consists in growing companies for three to five years in the multi-storey premises by renting a space in the market and then taking over a unit in their business Advancing areas like Union Street.
It is based on markets like Pop Brixton and Boxpark in London, which are modern street food markets with pop-up shopping malls.
Posted by Boxpark Shoreditch on Wednesday April 6th, 2016
The business owners hope to work with partners like Robert Gordon University’s accelerator program, business support firm Elevator and Opportunity North East, which is developing the private sector, to position the market vendor’s businesses for long-term growth.
Led by Managing Director Michael Robertson and Communications Director Dugbatey Teye, the duo enlisted the help of David Griffiths, partner at AVO, who has been appointed Operations Manager.
Robert Gordon University’s youngest real estate graduates, Michael and Dugbatey, who have also worked together on commercial real estate investments, are currently self-funding the project that was being developed during the lockdown.
The project is expected to cost between £ 400,000 and £ 1 million.
After living in London for a year in 2019, Michael took inspiration from similar markets in the capital to bring his concept to the city.
He estimates 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 figure out why Aberdeen didn’t have that. I heard the Aberdeen market was bulldozing and started talking to local businesses about it.
“There is an urgent need for something like this in the city and 90% of the companies I’ve spoken to have signed up to participate.
“I’d like to develop it through real estate development finance if possible. We are also engaged in crowdfunding, which would allow the local community to get involved in this community project. We would offer incentives and the like like other crowdfunding campaigns. The main cost is primarily the construction and really depends on the quality of the materials – whether they are new or reused containers that we use. We’d need roughly £ 400,000 to £ 1 million for the whole thing. “
The team is currently looking for a plot of land for the ambitious project. It is targeting various areas of the city center and “examining a number of promising potential location options”.
Michael added, “We have spoken to real estate development finance, but we need the land as collateral. We’re looking for spaces where we can put as many containers as we can and would like them to feel similar to other street food and social markets around the country. We have a suggested site on Shiprow that is really exciting.
“Once people see the pictures and the vision, they can understand what we want to achieve. Here you can have breakfast, go shopping with your friends, and meet on the street at night to eat and drink. “
David’s expertise in organizing the ABZ Market, a monthly food and beverage marketplace within the recently closed Aberdeen Market, was one of the reasons he was selected for the role of Operations Manager.
Support of local start-ups
Companies interested in being part of the market need to apply to ensure their brand ethos aligns with that of STAXX. David is also confident that they can start a grant program to help small local startups as well.
David said, “Companies will present their business plan to us and we can see if they are a good fit for STAXX and its community. We will then put them in contact with the Accelerator Program, Opportunity North East, Elevator and such companies, who will then help grow and feed them.
“We want to include a grant program that will help people start their business. We hope to work with others to offer scholarships whenever possible.
“We need a long-term term via a deposit that creates a hub for companies that all have access to this support system and at the same time build a community. This will feed into our three to five year contracts. These short-term contracts are likely to run out when companies realize they need more space and then focus on areas like Union Street. In this way, new companies can use their place in STAXX and start the process again.
“The idea is to provide Union Street with local, independent businesses. Feedback from Aberdeen City Council on the first idea appears to have been very well received. It seems to meet all the criteria for local government, dealerships and other businesses. “
Sustainability will also be central to Origin, a plastic waste design company that makes items from recycled plastic and uses waste products from vendors to create new items.
Michael said, “For all vendors selling food on plastic dishes, Origin would then recycle it and turn it into a phone case or flower pot, creating a circular economy with no waste. We will have a living wall at the front of the facade where rainwater would feed the plans.
“We try to run it on clean energy, with a strong focus on producing as little waste as possible. All companies selected as 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 where local singers, bands, artists and entertainers can showcase their talents.
“We also want to do a lot of events and will try to host them on all levels. It’s for the people of Aberdeen, but we hope it becomes a major tourist attraction and something that people actively seek out when visiting the city. There will be art, fashion, culture and more, ”said Michael.
“Everyone is excited about the dream, but it is the reality that we need to find out. Practical things like how we get a keg of beer up a flight of stairs or two and things like that.
“We will also do a lot of charity work through STAXX and will also work with local and international charities.”