‘There are so many strange places I’d like to be/ but none of them permanently’ Ernie, singing in Sesame Street
Helping people to reduce, reuse and recycle empty shops and other spaces in towns and cities…
The Empty Shops Network was started by Revolutionary Arts in 2008 and became part of Dan Thompson Studio in 2015. It encourages prototyping, testing and reinvention of the redundant spaces in the UK’s town centres by providing:
Advice; delivering workshops, seminars and masterclasses across the UK on pop up shops and other temporary projects. Helping organisations like Spacemakers and the Meanwhile Project get started.
Advocacy; in the national media, with specialist organisations and to government; producing reports like Pop Up People; and delivering keynote speeches at conferences. Contributing case studies and ideas to the Portas Review.
Easing administration; by giving away free resources, planning guidance and documents to make the empty shops movement ‘open source’ and by authoring the Empty Shops Toolkit and Pop Up Business For Dummies.
Brokering; arranging for artists and other organisations to access empty spaces across England.
All of that work is based on real experience, understanding and analysis. The Empty Shops Network has been involved in planning, producing and managing pop up shops and other projects across the UK, bringing together a range of partners for pop up projects lasting from a few days to a couple of years. These include the ‘Workshop’ series in Kent, South Kilburn and Shoreham by Sea, a pop up Tourist Information Centre for Worthing Borough Council, and the Ministry of Littlehampton project with local schools.
The Empty Shops Network has been to: Amsterdam, Bedford, Belfast, Bethnal Green, Birmingham, Brixton, Burnley, Cardiff, Carlisle, Coventry, Eastbourne, the Isle of Wight, Leeds, Littlehampton, London, Manchester, Margate, Portsmouth, Rochester, Rotterdam, Salford, Seven Dials, Shoreham by Sea, Southampton, Southsea, South Kilburn, Tooting, Worthing