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Redhills: Durham Miners Hall

Location: Durham City
Dates: 2017 – 2019

Redhills courtesy of Redhills CIO

Project overview

Redhills: Durham Miners Hall is the Grade II listed, historic home of the Durham Miners’ Association (DMA). In the summer of 2017 Empty Shop was invited to join an advisory group established to save the iconic, yet underappreciated ‘pitman’s parliament’.

Having programmed the venue as part of DJAZZ: The Durham City Jazz Festival, the relationship quickly developed into a partnership, delivering public consultation, pilot cultural programmes and ultimately supporting the development work that led to the building’s successful multi-million pound bid to National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

Find out more about Redhills

Visit the Redhills website to learn more about this beautiful building, it’s incredible history and the vision for its future. 


Practice-led consultancy

Our partnership with the DMA was an early example of what we now describe as ‘practice-led consultancy’ and helped lead the way for our sibling organisation Building Culture CIC. We worked on an embedded basis over a period of two years and the types of support we offered the DMA during this time included:

  • Devising and delivering a programme of open-consultation and stakeholder engagement activity.
  • Supporting the DMA to deliver the ‘Take Your Seat in the Pitman’s Parliament’ sponsorship campaign, which has since raised almost £100,000 in funds.
  • Working with DMA staff to develop the ‘Redhills: Durham Miners’ Hall” sub-brand, identity and website.
  • Programming and producing a pilot cultural programme, including concerts by Richard Dawson, Onsind, Soweto Kinch, Moses Boyd Exodus and Arun Ghosh.
  • Providing stage management and production support for the 2018 and 2019 Durham Miners’ Galas.

    What happened next?

    After a period of embedded consultancy and support, Empty Shop stepped back from a formal role in the DMA’s development programme as Redhills entered a focused period of bid writing, with Empty Shop Co-Director Nick Malyan continuing to work as a consultant. Following the successful bid to NLHF Nick went on to become the first Chief Executive Officer for the newly formed Redhills charity.