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

Brighton & Hove City Council 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 Brighton & Hove City Council 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.”

Brighton & Hove City Council, who own a number of properties in Brighton city centre, are 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 on the project visit: www.brightonpopupshops.co.uk (and to find out how to get involved).

About the meanwhile uses project

The meanwhile uses project is a temporary scheme to utilise empty retail and hospitality venues in Brighton city centre. The project is delivered by Brilliant Brighton in partnership with Brighton & Hove City Council to create short-term pop-up shop opportunities and enhance the appearance of vacant properties, with assistance from local artists and arts organisations.

About Brilliant Brighton


Brilliant Brighton (also known as Brighton’s Business Improvement District) is a not-for-profit organisation formed of 517 businesses within Brighton city centre – with the aim of making Brighton a brilliant place to live, work and visit.

Current projects their members provide include: lighting the city with Christmas lights, dressing the city in the summer (with bunting, hanging baskets and decorative banners) and an on-street Ambassador service who assist with everything from security to signposting and first aid.

The Heart of the City

About Brighton & Hove City Council

Brighton & Hove City Council delivers more than 700 services to local residents and is one of the largest employers in Sussex, employing around 10,000 staff.

Our aim is to make a real difference to people’s everyday lives and to play our part in supporting the long-term recovery, wellbeing and prosperity of all our residents.

The city is known for its unique retail, leisure and cultural offer. It has become recognised for the strength of its small business economy and as a hub of creativity, innovation and enterprise.

Our vision for economic growth builds on these considerable strengths, helping Brighton & Hove to evolve as a more successful and resilient city.

https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/