Some practical help if you are considering creating an empty shops project :
1. Join the Empty Shops Network. These people are your friends and allies. Join the discussion forum. Download the empty shops workbook. And read it. It’s important to do that last step.
2. Watch this video
That’s Dan from the Empty Shops Network. He’s nice and helpful.
3. Check out Meanwhile Space . They are nice too, and also have a toolkit you can download.
4. Think about what kind of group you are going to be. Are you a charity, social enterprize, or something more informal? We have become a community group and have developed a simple constitution and have appointed ourselves as co-chairs, and have roped in a secretary and a treasurer. We are not sure what any of these people are supposed to do yet but we are going to pretend we do until we figure it out. Your local volunteer centre has probably got someone who could advise you on what your group could be. If you would like to see our constitution to base yours on, just ask. We based ours on one from the kind people at Luton Arts Festival . No point on reinventing the wheel, as they say.
5. Appoint someone to do a risk assessment on your event for you.
6. Once you have your risk assessment look into insurance. You will need public liability of 5 million. Our landlords have covered the public liability for us within the units, but we are doing things outside too so still may need an events insurance as well. La Playa have been recommended. If artists are exhibiting their work then ask them to insure it. AN insurance have been recommended.
7. You may need a Temporary Events Licence (the forms for which you will be able to get from your local council) this is to cover performances, which you may or may not be doing. We are having acoustic music in one of our units. This is under £50. You may also need to fill in an event notification form. Our council have got an events toolkit and so might yours. We can send you ours if you need one.
8. Talk to the local shopkeepers – they will help you.
10. As Dan Thompson from the Empty Shops Network says; work hard and be nice to people. It really does the trick. Simple really.