UK: Witches win shopping centre name battle

A coven of witches is claiming victory in its battle to get the name of a £350 million shopping centre changed.

The witches were outraged when developer Hammerson called the Leicester project – a huge extension of the city’s Shires malls – the Highcross Quarter.

That is also the title for sacred times in the wicca calendar, and the group of Leicestershire witches had already set up a website with the same name.

Now, after a year-long wrangle, Hammerson has changed the name of the development to Highcross Leicester.

The company was not commenting today on whether its trouble with the local “alternative faith group” had influenced the move.

But in a statement on their website, the witches said: “We received indications that Hammerson Plc had finally accepted our advice to use another name altogether.

“It is our expectation that as a ‘big’ company, Hammerson Plc will now be big in the way it concedes to us, a small local alternative faith group, and that we can draw a line under this whole matter.

The coven wanted to set up an internet site to “break through the ignorance and misunderstanding, prejudice and stigma” attached to witchcraft.

But it was then forced, it claims, to turn down a number of unsolicited offers from Hammerson for its domain names and

When the group refused, the company began proceedings with the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organisation, which adjudicates on internet domain names, to force the coven to hand over the online title, said Ms Wisecraft.

In a statement, Richard Brown, senior development executive at Hammerson, said: “Initially, Highcross Quarter was used to describe the development to potential new retailers and to our city centre partners in recognition of the wider city regeneration.

“It has now evolved to Highcross Leicester, which we believe will give it a stronger identity for customers and raise the profile not only of the development but also the city.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday July 27, 2007.
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