Empty Shop CIC is a non profit arts organisation and practice-based consultancy in the North East of England.

Founded in 2008 by Artist Carlo Viglianisi and Project Manager Nick Malyan, as a grassroots arts organisation we operate on an independent, not-for-profit basis. In our first decade we utilised more than 50 different spaces to produce our own projects and programmes providing much needed accessible platforms.

In recent years we have developed our experience in place-based, cultural leadership into a specialist portfolio of products and services, working with a diverse client-base from the public and private sectors. Equally comfortable acting as consultants or producers – and often bringing both together – we help build scenes & communities, create bespoke pop-up events, cultural programmes and sector development schemes to deliver strategic impacts.

While taking up work with a range of clients, commissioners and partners we still maintain our commitment to grassroots cultural development, serving the communities who have supported us from day one.

The Folks Behind Empty Shop

Carlo Viglianisi is an artist and photographer. Prior to Empty Shop he created his own graphic & web design business and worked as a commercial freelance photographer whilst maintaining his arts practice. Carlo spearheaded the development of the organisation’s flagship space, Empty Shop HQ in Durham city (2010 – 2018). Initially an artist studios and gallery space, in late 2012 the venue evolved into a cross-platform arts centre. Carlo has also project managed Empty Shop’s recent site specific work including DJAZZ: The Durham City Jazz Festival (with At The Root), The Alligator Club (BRASS 2015), Contained (Shambala Festival) and Hot Potato Records. He was awarded the title of Young British Cartoonist of the Year in 2006.

Nick Malyan is a North East based project manager with more than a decades experience working with organisations including Artichoke, New Writing North, Sage Gateshead and the Lindisfarne Gospels Durham partnership. Most recently Nick has led on Empty Shop’s consultancy and developmental role at Redhills: Durham Miners Hall. Nick also works independently as a writer, curator and facilitator contributing to projects at Cardiff Contemporary, The Newbridge Project, Northern Stage, &-Model Gallery and Futuresonic festival (among others).


Collaboration is at the core of everything we do, which means we have worked with an amazing range individuals, groups and organisations. 

Visit the projects section for a snapshot of just some of our projects and partnerships.

Let's Collaborate.

We’re interested in new ideas and partnerships.  Pitch us something.
>> click here