WOT Space with somewhereto_ at Highcross

20 May 2014

​Opened in February 2014, Wot Space at Highcross Leicester is the UK’s very first brokerage agency to provide an accommodation-matching service for youngsters looking for a venue to bring their ideas to life.

The opening marks a milestone in the shopping centre’s two year-long partnership with Wot Box Participation, the regional delivery partner for Somewhere to_, the national movement to utilise underused or empty space across the UK to support young people aged 16-25 to do the things they love.

In providing a former marketing suite, Hammerson has enabled the launch of a unique platform for young people in Leicester to develop their creative talents. In just eight weeks 98 individuals signed up to Somewhere to_

Wot Space provides:

  • Monthly ‘Speed Spacing’ events
  • ‘Young Reporters’ training sessions
  • Pop up residencies
  • Brokering of empty space projects

Somewhere to_ Highcross Highlights

Keelan Phillips

A pro freestyle BMX rider, Keelan has won contests all over the world for his originality and style and is recognised for having invented ten new moves. In November 2012, Keelan was given exclusive access to Highcross Leicester to film himself performing in his home town in a ‘back to his roots’ video. The result, ‘Scrap Metal & Wood Pushin’, has had 35,000 views on YouTube.

„Play Scrap Metal Video

Lovers of Literature Story Shop

Performing arts facilitator, Georgina Elsom wanted to generate content for her website by using a vacant shop at Highcross in a week-long project aimed at making literature and story-telling accessible to children. The event, held in May 2013, was host to Leicester Libraries story-telling staff, poet Joshua Siegal, the ‘Mouthy Poets’ youth collective and local wordsmith Boston ‘The Orator’ who worked with visitors on creative lyrics and poetry. The event attracted 600 visitors and generated four short films, 150 images and a Twitter reach of 17,845.

„Click to see Lovers of Literature

Winter Wonderland

Together with Enter Edem, an interactive art, entertainment and education creative, Highcross enabled this local collective to re-imagine Christmas for two consecutive weekends in the run-up to the holiday in December 2013. In just 20 hours, the event, which included 14 local artists and performers donating 280 volunteering hours in total, attracted 440 visitors, with 260 children participating in activities.

„Click to see Winter Wonderland

Le Grande Cirque

In a special event designed to promote Somewhere to_, students at Leicester College came together for a day to showcase their talents. On Saturday 1st February 2014, the team of creative and 12 volunteers ran activities such as dressmaking, photography, body art, costume and shoe design, juggling and mime. The venue, a vacant retail unit at Highcross, attracted 200 visitors and 42 youngsters to sign up to Somewhere to_

Play Le Grande Cirque Video

​Somewhere to_ Highcross Highlights

Keelan Phillips

A pro freestyle BMX rider, Keelan has won contests all over the world for his originality and style and is recognised for having invented ten new moves. In November 2012, Keelan was given exclusive access to Highcross Leicester to film himself performing in his home town in a ‘back to his roots’ video. The result, ‘Scrap Metal & Wood Pushin’, has had 35,000 views on YouTube.

„Play Scrap Metal Video

Lovers of Literature Story Shop

Performing arts facilitator, Georgina Elsom wanted to generate content for her website by using a vacant shop at Highcross in a week-long project aimed at making literature and story-telling accessible to children. The event, held in May 2013, was host to Leicester Libraries story-telling staff, poet Joshua Siegal, the ‘Mouthy Poets’ youth collective and local wordsmith Boston ‘The Orator’ who worked with visitors on creative lyrics and poetry. The event attracted 600 visitors and generated four short films, 150 images and a Twitter reach of 17,845.

„Click to see Lovers of Literature

Winter Wonderland

Together with Enter Edem, an interactive art, entertainment and education creative, Highcross enabled this local collective to re-imagine Christmas for two consecutive weekends in the run-up to the holiday in December 2013. In just 20 hours, the event, which included 14 local artists and performers donating 280 volunteering hours in total, attracted 440 visitors, with 260 children participating in activities.

„Click to see Winter Wonderland

Le Grande Cirque

In a special event designed to promote Somewhere to_, students at Leicester College came together for a day to showcase their talents. On Saturday 1st February 2014, the team of creative and 12 volunteers ran activities such as dressmaking, photography, body art, costume and shoe design, juggling and mime. The venue, a vacant retail unit at Highcross, attracted 200 visitors and 42 youngsters to sign up to Somewhere to_

Play Le Grande Cirque Video

What happens next with somewhereto_

The Big Positive Weekend and somewhereto_ have joined up for The After Dark Takeover, giving communities the chance to see our centres in a new light.

We've brought together 28 of the UK’s biggest Urban athletes to showcase their talents and produce a set of films that we hope will inspire other space holders to unlock and utilise their space. 

Nine films have been created, showing different athletes, as they perform a showcase of their talents in one of our nine Big Positive Weekend host centres.  The film for each centre will be premiered at their Big Positive Weekend this summer, so keep your eyes peeled for The After Dark Takeover films, as we release these throughout the summer. 

“Wot Space is a tremendous new development for us. Its presence in a major city centre destination is placing the realisation of youngster’s hopes and ambitions at the forefront of community focus. This is a flagship venue that is unique in the UK.”

Tina Barton, Managing Director, Wot Box Participation, Somewhere to_, East Midlands