PORTRAITS OF THE UNDERBANKS

a place that makes itself

ALEX – SK1 FESTIVAL

Everywhere wants to be a great city. I got off the train from Stoke into Stockport station, it had been newly done up. The Angel had just opened. I walked through Underbanks and saw SK1 Records, Rare Mags, Hillgate Cakery, all the independent shops and it reminded me of Stoke when I was selling adverts for Bomb Magazine.

I have knowledge of both areas, but different times, different people. I studied an art degree as a mature student and did a business course at Manchester Business School which led me into place making.

Little Underbank has the quality of a film set with the shop fronts and steps, the alleys. To what extent you would like it to be gentrified? The nightmare would be it turns into a B-movie Shoreditch.

When you come to creating a place brand you’ve got to be honest in everyone else’s eyes. I draw diagrams of the connections – mapping the place.

A festival brings all these things together – places, people and culture – new things emerge and you create something unique.

We will always have international culture, how do you grow something local and unique here?

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