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New mini-documentary explores Manchester’s Northern Quarter

Manchester Evening News logo Manchester Evening News 29/04/2018 Stuart Greer

A new documentary explores why Manchester’s Northern Quarter is booming while the high street struggles.

KashFlow, the Manchester-based accounting, payroll and HR software provider, commissioned the film after reflecting on the fact that many of their clients and contacts based in the Northern Quarter had unique and inspiring stories to tell about their businesses.

The documentary features interviews with small business owners from a variety of different sectors, who operate from the district, to share their stories and explore why the area is so popular for entrepreneurs, independents and freelancers.

Common themes that arose were the 'community spirit' and the 'electric atmosphere'.

According to those interviewed - including owners of Cloudwater Brewery, co-working cafe Ziferblat and healthy fast food chain Kettlebell Kitchen - the area breeds creativity.

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Oliver Shaw, CEO of KashFlow, said: "Seeing small businesses thrive in areas like Manchester’s Northern Quarter reminds uswhy we do what we do at KashFlow – it’s to help them succeed and focus on what they love.

"Being able to get out amongst those driving Manchester’s creative community allows us to see small businesses in action and champion their efforts. There’s some fantastic businesses cropping up across the UK, and some equally fantastic established ones too.

"It’s our honour to celebrate their efforts and get as many eyes on the UK small business scene as possible."

a bunch of graffiti on the side of a building © Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, a Manchester property development company responsible for regenerating developments in the Northern Quarter, said:

"Around twenty years ago, the Northern Quarter was in terminal decline. Myself and others had a vision of getting people back to the area by encouraging independent retailers and artists to set up shop here and make it the bohemian area of Manchester. Nowadays, the Northern Quarter has that sense of excitement, independence and disruption, which means it naturally attracts a lot of young, disruptive businesses.

"When I was younger, running your own business was seen as a slightly maverick sort of thing to do. Starting a business is now very aspirational, which is great as people learn so much running their own businesses, whether they succeed or fail."

The aim of KashFlow’s documentary is to celebrate the thriving startup and small business scene in Manchester city centre and independent quarters in general.

Data from Inform Direct in their 'Review of UK Company Formations' revealed that Greater Manchester was the most active area in England, outside of London, for companies to start up in 2017.

In particular, the Ancoats and Clayton ward - which includes parts of the Northern Quarter - was found to have had more businesses open than close in the region last year.

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