A furniture store with serious eco credentials is taking shape in Gateshead, close to the Metro Centre Retail Park.

Works are well underway to transform the former Snow + Rock site on Gibside Way into a state-of-the-art flagship Barker and Stonehouse store, bringing together the very best in sustainable design, striking architecture and inspiring home interiors.

The North-East founded furniture retailer is investing more than £5m to double the size of its existing base, with the new store combining 50,000 sq. ft of impressive retail space across three floors.

Ahead of its opening on Good Friday (7th April), the retailer’s existing unit at the Metro Retail Park will be transformed into an outlet store, giving customers the option to shop on a budget, without compromising on quality.

Managing Director James Barker said: “The new store is really starting to take shape and this is a huge milestone in what is a significant project for our business. Alongside other key investments in the area such as launching our concept store within Fenwick Newcastle, this represents our commitment to the region and to offering the best possible customer experience.

“We were proud to be the first UK furniture retailer of scale to achieve Carbon Neutral Plus status and are constantly thinking about ways we can improve our impact on the planet. This approach has certainly been foremost in our minds during the design and build of this store and we can’t wait to welcome customers this spring.”

In line with the retailer’s eco-friendly approach, the new store has been designed with sustainability ingrained in its blueprint. This includes the typical practices you’d expect from Barker and Stonehouse such as the use of responsibly sourced timber frames rather than steel where feasible and a full roof of solar panels, as well as innovative extras such as an expansive green roof that will protect and promote local biodiversity.

Inside, the store roof is held up by beautifully designed circular timber feature columns, crafted with branches that take the form of a traditional tree while striking studios will be home to the latest season’s looks.

Upstairs, there’ll be a roof terrace café run by North East restaurateur Daryl Chadwick. Bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to Gateshead, Daryl is set to recreate the popular menus already on offer at Chadwick & Co, his in-store café before at the retailer’s Teesside Park store.

Set in a prime location in Gateshead, at the heart of an already bustling shopping destination, the new store will be easily accessible by car and public transport and will have a dedicated car park with electric vehicle charging points.

Ahead of the new flagships store opening, the retailer will be closing the doors to its Newcastle store on Leazes Park Road, having outgrown the base where it has traded since 1998.

James added: “It’s been a pleasure to serve so many of our wonderful North East customers from our Newcastle store for the past 25 years however we hope they’ll love our new flagship store just as much as we’ve loved bringing it to life.”

Before its closure, the retailer will be holding a clearance sale on Friday 3rd February, offering huge savings on all floor stock, including sofas, occasional chairs, dining tables, sideboards and more.