Empty shops in Shoreham by Sea

I’ve probably made some old Tory very happy today; I got on my bike in search of work. Specifically, hunting down empty shops to use in Shoreham-by-Sea.

In the Empty Shops Network’s home town of Worthing, the Borough Council has forged a partnership with neighbouring Adur District Council, which means that our empty shops money covers Worthing, Lancing, Shoreham and Fishersgate. And we’re looking for a big, flagship project in Adur, so I’ve spent the day cycling to find likely sites.

I was actually born in Shoreham, in the maternity unit in the old workhouse. I’ve worked there a lot, as a founder member of the Beach Dreams festival and as sound man for Richard Durrant. I’ve exhibited in, got married at, and floodlit the outside of, the Church of the Good Shepherd on Shoreham Beach – and once, notably, heard the Vicar’s confession. I lived on Shoreham High Street, in a flat above a charity shop, with views across the mudflats towards the houseboats. And I partied quite hard on the houseboats a few times, too.

So I know Shoreham well, and it’s sad to see it suffering. There are a few empty shops, and a downmarket Woolworths clone in the old Woolworths. In a small town, those few empty shops really have an impact.

Saddest of all, though, is a monumental building in the middle of historic Shoreham town, which looks like it’s been bought for redevelopment. It’s an odd bit of architecture, vaguely arts and crafts-ish; striped brickwork, odd detailing, hints of turrets and towers.

There are four shops at street level, and the front two facing onto the old war memorial and church yard are suspiciously bunker-like with thick walls and small windows (pictured). One of them’s empty. Behind them, down a side street, are two more shop units, both more traditional but in poor condition. Both of these are empty.

Above it all is the old church hall and parish offices, and from the state of the building and the boarded-up doors I’d guess these are empty, too.

I’m not sure what the plans for this quirky architectural oddity are, but I’d like to find out more about the building – and I’ve got a site visit later this week to start exploring and planning. Can we bring a bit of temporary use to Shoreham town centre, perhaps some community shenanigans like The UpMarket project we ran in Worthing? It would sit well amongst the great little independents, scattering of cafes and delis, and a flea market in the old Tarmount Studios – all of which make Shoreham well worth a visit.


5 thoughts on “Empty shops in Shoreham by Sea

  1. Dan – let me know how you get on. Am currently working out of a studio in Lancing industrial estate, but would love to be working and exhibiting back in shoreham. I exhibited at Allied Carpets in Worthing just before christmas – I was the seascapes! Let me know if you need any help, of if I can spread the word.

    Also am currently looking for someone to host me for the Adur Art trail, as my flat is in Lancing. Do you know of anyone?

  2. Hi – my partner is looking to share some studio space 2 days a week – he’s just starting out. Can you tell me how this works? Sorry – just found your site and I’m a bit clueless.

  3. Hi…I would love the opportunity to exhibit some of my artwork…in Shoreham or Worthing….not sure how to go about this….Trying very hard to
    get intouch with Dan Thomson…

  4. my friends and i were at an art workshop in an empty shop in shoreham today run by a lovely woman called Alicia. We left something in the shop and would like to know how to contact her, can you help please? I know she got a grant from American Express to run the 3 day workshops and the shop is just off the pedestrianised section. thanks Sara

  5. I am about to move into Shoreham from Brighton and am looking for a place where I can make my own ceramics and also run workshops ( for adults and children ). I teach in Worthing part time and know how popular and important working with mud can be, real creative therapy. I usually exhibit my work in the Brighton Open Studios but am really looking forward to being part of Shoreham. Jane

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s