THEY are the vacant buildings once home to tasty takeaways, swanky salons and beer-filled bars.

Now, more than 100 of Southampton’s empty retail units are featuring in an online exhibition.

Photographer Joe Hudson trawled through the streets of the city to find the vacant venues, which range from empty electronic retailers to the soon-to-be demolished Bargate Shopping Centre.

He said: “I was just out taking pictures with my camera and I was disappointed to see so many closed shops.

“I decided to take a few pictures of the closed shops and thought it could be interesting so I kept going, that’s how it started.”

In total, the 37-year-old spent more than 20 hours on the project, going out on six different occasions.

Joe covered most of the city west of the Itchen, including areas such as the High Street, Lordshill and Portswood.

In total, the Shirley resident snapped 140 closed shops in a two-month period, between June and August.

He now hopes his exhibition will inspire people to make use of the space, including by setting up pop-up shops.

He said: “I think we should be making better use of all of this space. Some of the buildings aren’t in particularly good shape but a lot of them could be used for short term projects.“Artists are always looking for places to display their work and it would make it look nicer.

“There have also been some really successful pop-up shops in Southampton like Tiger Yard.“It would be great to have more things like that.”

To view Joe’s full gallery of pictures visit: