We are Empty Shop.
Empty Shop CIC is a non profit arts organisation in the North East of England and based in Durham City. We formed in 2008 with the idea to provide a much needed and accessible platform for artists of all levels and backgrounds to produce exhibit and engage with art. As the organisation has grown we have developed into well rounded permanent fixture in the North East art scene.
Today Empty Shop still provides those opportunities and resources that were so few and important back then but our reach now also expands into a whole cross section of areas and expertise.
Empty Shop started in 2008 and chooses to be completely unfunded and fully independent.
Where is Empty Shop?
Empty Shop HQ is in Durham city centre however we also utilise other venues and public spaces temporarily to provide accessible, temporary galleries and site specific events.
Find us at:
Empty Shop Community Interest Company,
Empty Shop HQ,
35c Framwellgate Bridge
What is Empty Shop?
Empty Shop is a progressive, grass roots, independent arts organisation based in Durham. Our main objectives are art, regeneration and collaboration. Founded in 2008, we are a registered Community Interest Company and officially a non profit organisation.
Why are you called ‘Empty Shop’?
Initially the main focus of the organisation was using empty shops, buildings and unused spaces as art space. What started out as a “does what it says on the tin” name has now become a brand rather than the purely descriptive term of it’s origins.
Are you part of the ‘art in empty shops schemes’ that are popping up all over the country?
No, we actually predate that Government Initiative and have always operated completely independently.
Are you part of a ‘pop up shop scheme’?
No. Although part of what we do is temporary in nature, we are completely independent from any pop up shop schemes – this is all us.
Are you funded?
No, and this is intentional – we have not applied for any funding and don’t plan to. We are completely self sufficient and sustainable at every level, Empty Shop exists in it’s own right. We value this above all else.
So, what exactly do you do?
As mentioned above we are increasingly an inter-disciplinary organisation. We “do” exhibitions, events, residencies, film screenings, music events, programming and curating, performance and collaborations of all kinds.
Does it cost anything?
Empty Shop will only ever charge a fee appropriate to the costs we incur in operating a venue.
Each Empty Shop we take on has different overheads associated with it; a small space that we’re using for one week will be different to an entire building for which we occupy for a period of months. With this in mind the charge for hiring one of our spaces can vary, in the past fees have varied from as little as £7 a day and the large workspace at Empty Shop HQ is currently available at £25 for half a day £50 for a full day. Use of these spaces is allocated strictly on a first come, first served policy.
Drop us an email if you have a particular project, or particular space, in mind.
How does Empty Shop work?
Empty shop works through hard work, dedication and a genuine interest in what we are doing. We aim to provide the community we serve with creative resources and opportunities, whilst creating an alternative cultural offer in the region.
I have an empty shop/building/space, would it benefit me to let you use it?
Yes, there are some great reasons, including commercial and financial incentives, to allow our organisation to use your unused space. If you want to talk to us about this please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch.
Can Empty Shop help me with an idea?
Very possibly! We are a really open organisation that loves to work with other people. Drop us an email with your idea and we’ll see if it’s something we can help with.