somewhereto_ re:store manchester has arrived

This Summer somewhereto_NW has taken over an empty shop in Manchester’s Corn Exchange. It’s a campaign called somewhereto_ re:store  – the high street heist. The store was opened on Thursday 25th. our very own star presenter Aeman, along side singing star Gareth Gates did the honours. here’s a transcript of what they said


Good afternoon

My name is Aeman Ali Afzal and I’m going to be your host for this afternoon’s launch of somewhereto_ re:store here in Manchester.

We’re thrilled to be here in such a brilliant space, right in the heart of this great city and I’d like to say a big thank you to you all for coming along.

somewhereto_ re:store [the high street heist] is a youth led high street take-over of six disused shop spaces across the UK this summer. The campaign will showcase young people’s ideas to the crisis at the core of our communities, and give them the chance to inject their natural energy, ideas and entrepreneurialism into our changing high streets.

In addition to Manchester the store takeovers are happening in London, Cardiff, Glasgow, Bangor in Northern Ireland and Newcastle

We’re here to make use of two great underused assets – the ideas and inspiration of young people like myself and the increasing number of empty shops across the country. We’re here to experiment and try and work out how young people can bring life, vitality, energy and new uses to underused space.

For any tweeters out there, we’re encouraging you today to hashtag ‘highstreetheist’ @somewhereto with an underscore

Before I introduce our special guest for today, I need to say some big thank yous. somewhereto_ is funded by a seven million pound injection from the Big Lottery fund – granted Last December to support its UK-wide expansion over the next four years – opening up thousands more spaces; engaging hundreds of thousands of young people; introducing a path to endorsement, to recognise the skills and training gained by young people involved; and supporting youth enterprise UK wide.

Clare Cruddas from the Big Lottery Fun in the North is with us here today so as a young person who has been given the spaces that I need I’d like to thank you personally.

We’re also really grateful to the Manchester Corn Exchange, who’ve let us have this space for the next few weeks. It’s a great location in an iconic building. We’re going to have some fun and bring in lots of new ideas.

somewhereto_ re:store Manchester has been coordinated by the teams from across the North West and Yorkshire. We may be standing west of the Pennines here but its great to welcome a yorkshire man as our very special guest.

He’s in Manchester on the latest leg of his Momentous Musicals Tour and we’re thrilled that he’s taken some time out to come and be with us today.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce Bradford’s biggest star – Gareth Gates.


It is great to be here in Manchester at the launch of what promises to be a really exciting Summer for somewhereto_ re:store and for young people from across the north.

I’ve only recently found out about somewhereto_ and from what I’ve heard and seen I can’t help but be impressed with what the young people involved have achieved so far.

Gareth Gares at the somewhereto_ re:store manchester launch

Gareth Gares at the somewhereto_ re:store manchester launch

I grew up in Bradford – just over the Pennines. I was lucky and found my thing early on  – singing at the Cathedral and playing music. I was only 18 when I did Pop Idol and haven’t really looked back since. There are a lot of really talented young people out there who also deserve success.

I’ve no doubt that with the support of somewhereto_ to help young people find places to rehearse, perform, try out their ideas, exhibit their work, many more young people will achieve their dreams.

I’m currently on tour with just a short stay in this great city. On my travels I can’t help but notice the growing number of empty shops – especially in the smaller cities and towns. somewhereto_re:store is helping us take a new look at this situation by asking artists, performers and young musicians to help look at the spaces in a new way.

The programme for the shop here over the Summer looks fantastic. I understand that this has been put together by young people who are excited to show what they can do.

Thank you – enjoy the rest of the afternoon’s entertainment and keep coming back over the next few weeks to see how things develop.


As you’ve seen and heard, somewhereto_ is all about young people, their creativity, their ideas and their ambitions. I’ve been involved with somewhereto_ for a couple of years. It’s offered me opportunities to dance, present and get involved in managing events.

There’s loads more to see, do and listen too. Hang around, grab yourself another drink, coming up with got JBear and the Giants and the sat’day Allstars, we’ve got Lia performing shadow work in the store, the amazing  Paul Griffiths from Baby cakes is demonstrating inside and of course there’s the designers dozen exhibition too. Before all that I’d like to introduce to the phenomenal voice of Megan Grooters, Recently signed to Suff Records – this is a performer to watch.

The store is open Thurdsay, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 18:00.

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