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So, we’re getting old and we’ve settled down. We’ve taken a shop for long enough to take our boots off and get comfortable.

Agora, 1a New Road, Shoreham by Sea was one of the stop on the Empty Shops Tour earlier this year. It was on a regeneration site, so had sat empty for ten years waiting for demolition. It was a huge job, clearing rubbish and making the space good enough to use for a week. And while doing it, I fell for the space. A big, bright central space with high windows either side, a handy store at the back, an intimate office upstairs, even a big (if overgrown and full of rubbish) courtyard. So after a little (and I mean, very little) negotiation we agreed to stay longer.

We pulled in enough funding from Adur & Worthing Regeneration to have the frontage restored, and to buy furniture and equipment we needed. First thing was a coffee machine, followed by comfy sofas from a junk shop round the corner.

And now it’s up and running, as atelier, factory, gallery, hub, office, public place, meeting space, sewing room, studio and workshop.

We have a few resident artists who use the space, lots of guests, and a programme of exhibitions, talks and events coming together.

Using it as the national empty shops centre, we want to help people test ideas, explore empty spaces, swap skills – and we’ve had our first success, with two artists using our space to plot and plan and start their own project.

If you want to get involved, get in touch: email my trusty sidekick [email protected] or find me on Twitter, @artistsmakers