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Project to utilise Brighton city centre’s empty stores is underway

Graham Robson February 27, 2021

Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) and Brilliant Brighton, a not-for-profit organisation, formed of 517 retail, leisure and hospitality businesses within the city centre, have teamed up to make use of vacant premises within Brighton city centre.

The temporary project aims to utilise empty properties in Brighton’s city centre, by offering short-term pop-up shop opportunities to those looking to host their own store, restaurant, cafe or deli, but don’t want a long-term commitment.

The project hopes to also engage local artists to dress windows and create eye-catching window displays in empty properties – not only to improve the appearance of unused units (and reduce the risk of anti-social behaviour), but to also ‘Brighton’ up the city, and showcase the city’s thriving creative scene. Commissions of £500 will be granted for up to five artists to create art displays in five empty properties across the city centre.

Shelley Welti, media officer for Brilliant Brighton, said: “While Brighton’s vacancy rate is less than the national average, we are noticing vacant premises’ numbers throughout the city centre slowly increasing. We’re pleased to have partnered with BHCC to utilise empty units – with either short-term pop-up shops or by making them more attractive with artwork installations by local artists.

“We’d love to hear from landlords, businesses and artists who’d like to be involved with the project.”

BHCC, which owns a number of properties in Brighton city centre, is also offering their empty retail and hospitality units for art organisations to use on a cost-only basis, for a minimum six-month term.

Councillor Martin Osborne, co-chair of Brighton & Hove’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said: “We’re pleased to have the opportunity to offer creative people in the city new spaces to showcase their work and try out new business ideas.

“Brighton & Hove is known for its innovation and talent and this project will not only provide new uses for empty buildings, it will help people struggling to find a platform during the pandemic and revive city centre shopping areas ready to welcome the safe return of visitors.”

For more information and to get involved on the project, CLICK HERE or email Shelley Welti at admin@brightonbid.com.

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