Making a positive difference

15 May 2018

Establishing meaningful relationships, creating networks and collaborating with social enterprises, institutions and entrepreneurs to have a positive impact in the community.

Delivering positive social impacts sits at the heart of Hammerson’s Positive Places strategy. Two recent cases illustrate how we work to create social value for our communities in practical ways that deliver real local outcomes.

Leeds Mosaic

Collaborating with Leeds Art University and local mosaic artist Ruth Wilkinson, Hammerson commissioned a mosaic for permanent installation and display within the Victoria Quarter arcades. 

The new artwork was designed to reflect the city and arcade’s Victorian heritage. Wilkinson was commissioned to lead the project and work with creative, design and art communication students from Leeds Arts University. Whilst using their art and design talent and training to respond to a commercial commission, the project also provided the students with valuable training in the detailed, technical skills required to create and install a mosaic. Leeds Arts University is the only specialist Arts University in the North of England. This project has enriched both the experience of the students and the heritage of the building. The new mosaic will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors for years to come and will stand as a long term reference to the heritage that makes Leeds the successful city we see today.

 Entrepreneurship and Retail 

Collaborating with retailTRUST, Hammerson staff Nichola Hutson and David O’Neil attended the first of two sessions launching a £30,000 retailENTERPRISE seed funding opportunity in. This has been the result of a 3 year trial between Hammerson, RetailTrust and Glasgow Caledonian University’s British School of Fashion, to support the MSc Fashion Business Creation programme under the Retail Enterprise brand. 

This particular session was an engagement event for prospective applicants, to ensure they understand what the seed funding is and how they can apply. Experts from Hammerson, Barclays, Revo and retailTrust delivered short presentations, giving a brief outline of their businesses and roles within them. Speakers shared their knowledge and sparked discussions around technological innovation, sustainability, development and design; mentoring, finance and business plan development. Opportunities such as these provide important support for local investment and enterprise. They equip a diverse range of entrepreneurs with valuable insight into the retail sector providing opportunities to develop their innovative business ideas further, with industry guidance, and mentoring from experts and financial support. On the 12 July, James Rogers from Hammerson will join the scholarship panel to help choose the scholarship recipients, and select where the pop-up shop will be tested out over a three month period.

If you want to know more about our work in local communities, or how to get involved and the partners we collaborate with, contact James Rogers or Nichola Hutson from the Sustainability Team.