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Back to standard opening times: Wednesday - Saturday plus any other days when we have events.

Host your own event!

Empty Shop is all about opportunity, you can use our HQ venue to host any number of creative or cultural events.

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// About us

Empty Shop CIC is a non profit arts organisation in the North East of England and based in Durham City. We deilver exhibitions & events, collaborate on projects and run a licenced cultural venue. Formed in 2008, Empty Shop is completely independent and unfunded by choice. more

// Upcoming Events

Global Portraits by Hannah Rose Thomas @ Empty Shop HQ
Nov 27 @ 5:30 pm

An independently curated exhibition of portraits by Hannah Rose Thomas.


Global PortraitsAll welcoeme
5:30pm til late
£2 entry
All proceeds raised will go towards Oxfam’s Syria Appeal.


About the Artist

Hannah Rose Thomas is a British artist, born in Italy and educated in London. Since Hannah left School she received painting commissions and has exhibited in the RichMix Academy in Brick Lane and the ‘Not the Royal Academy’ exhibition in the Llewelyn Alexander Gallery in Waterloo.

In July 2013 Hannah attended the Florence Academy of Art ‘Painting the Figure in Oil’ workshop, receiving tuition in 19th century academic, photo realist techniques.

Hannah paints alongside her studies at Durham University, where she is currently in her Fourth Year reading History and Arabic.

While on her Year Abroad last year in Jordan, UNHCR took Hannah Thomas on board as Creative Director for an exhibition of art projects with Syrian refugees to commemorate World Refugee Day in June 2014.

The money raised from the art exhibition in in Empty Shop, Durham on 27th November will go towards Oxfam’s Syria Appeal. The exhibition will display Hannah’s portraits of people she has encountered in the Middle East and Africa from her travels.

In 2015 Hannah is submitting paintings into the BP Portrait Award and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition; in July she will be having an art exhibition at a gallery in Amman, Jordan.

UNHCR have asked Hannah to return to Jordan to organize further art projects with refugees in the future.

For more information visit:

Café Scientifique: Plastic Fantastic @ Empty Shop HQ
Nov 29 @ 3:45 pm – 5:30 pm

Cafe Scientifique Durham City is a nonprofit organisation dedicated to science outreach in Durham. We run weekly cafes with speakers from Durham University (and others!), who are always happy to chat about their research or science in general afterwards.

Dr. Chris Groves from the Engineering department in Durham is coming to talk about plastics, how they’ve shaped the past and how they’re going to shape the future. Here’s the abstract for his talk:

No other invention of the 20th century has impacted everyday life quite like the transistor. The rapid spread of the computer from research labs, to offices, to homes, to your phone, watch or glasses would not be possible without it. This is largely made possible using a single material – Silicon. However, researchers at Durham and elsewhere are examining new breeds of electronic materials based on plastics. These materials offer the chance to do something that Silicon cannot – the chance to change the colour of light they can emit and absorb, as well as be printed as easily and cheaply as a newspaper. These capabilities make plastics exciting new materials in a variety of applications stretching from televisions to solar cells. In this talk I will discuss what makes these plastics so special, and why that may lead to another revolution in electronics.

We are looking forward to seeing you there at the usual time of 3:45 pm in Empty Shop! If you’re unsure how to get there, please take a look at our homepage where there is a map. On the day, we will put a blackboard outside at 3:30 to guide you in!

More about Cafe Sci
We meet at 3:45pm each Saturday during term time at Empty Shop.

The cafe is ran by Josh Borrow and John D’Silva, who are Physics and Natural Sciences students respectively. They have recently taken the cafe over from Jamal Kinsella and Tim Wiles, who ran it for a number of years.

The cafe is hosted in Empty Shop Durham, who have been providing us with space and help since around May 2014. Empty Shop is a reasonably large venue, meaning our capacity is about 50 people. There is a bar, which you can order drinks and snacks from to graze on during the talk – it wouldn’t be much of a cafe otherwise! You can find out more about Empty Shop on their website.

The cafe is funded by the Natural Sciences Society of Durham University, which we are wholefully grateful for. We use the money that they give us to promote future cafes and to buy equipment that we need.

Dec 3 @ 7:30 pm

The Equestrian Collective Presents:

DASKINSEY 4 (Brighton)
Stupendously amazing garage punk queerdo beauties all the way from Brighton. New tape on Tough Enough/Tadpole records. It’s gonna rule. FFO: Royal Headache. Help She Can’t Swim. Burning Times.

First Durham show for these Tyneside beauties (albeit in a stripped down form), and where better than at the spiritual sibling of Newcastle’s Nerd Hutch? DIY nerd punx unite! Songs about asexuality, d’n’d, being sad, comics etc.

LIZ CRONIN (Edinburgh)
Liz crafts brilliant, witty, crushingly poignant pop songs about killing sprees, anguish and more. This will only be Liz’s second time playing in Durham! Don’t miss her! She’ll change your life!

£5 for touring bands.

Facebook event – click here

EMPTY SHOP is ALL AGES community art space in the centre of Durham.

[Access- empty shop is only accessible via a long staircase, and one shorter staircase leading to the performance space]

The Jazz Sessions: Lickety Split @ Empty Shop HQ
Dec 4 @ 7:30 pm – 11:45 pm

Working in association with the Jazz Co-Op in Newcastle and following a successful run of taster sessions, we are excited to announce that The Jazz Sessions will continue on the first Thursday of every month.

Jazz sessions December webThanks to everyone who came to the first four sessions.

Lickety Split

Trombone -Eddie Bellis.
Trumpet -Kev Elland.
Alto sax – Alan Marshall.
Tenor sax – Paul Gowland.
Drums- Paul White.
Bass- Alan Rudd.
Guitar – Roy Willis.
Piano – t.b.c.

Lickety Split are an eight piece band, featuring a four piece brass section,playing the best of west coast jazz.

We encourage anyone with an interested in live jazz, or an ear for discovery to come along and support these events and please, spread the word!

Doors from 7:30pm // Music starts at 8pm

Jazz Co-Op – click here