"I love the stepped back buildings, a kind of miniature version of New York in Manchester."

Aidan O'Rourke Photographer & Writer


The Birchin is right in the beating heart of this great city, on the edge of The Northern Quarter next to one of Britain’s last remaining youth culture shopping centres, Affleck’s Palace described on the BBC website as;

“Afflecks Palace is one of the most distinguished shopping arcades in Europe. It is apparent that the arcade acts as a magnet for tourists and a meeting place for Manchester students “

This is where much of Manchester’s cool history germinated, where the band that in major polls is consistently voted as the most important band ever, ahead of the Beatles, The Smiths and their fans bought their 50’s shirts , where the Madchester crowd shopped, where the infamous characters from Michael Winterbottoms internationally acclaimed film “24 Hour Party People” hung out and where labels like Red or Dead could afford to grow into international labels without having to suffer designer shopping street rents.

The Northern Quarter is still a magnet for creative industry start ups and like Hoxton in London and The East Village in New York it is the home of a thriving arts scene and a growing sense of community. It's a welcome affordable, bohemian oasis in a sea of high priced real estate, where you are free from bland chain stores and independent retailers can thrive.For many, including the members of the team behind The Birchin project, The Northern Quarter is the soul of Manchester.