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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 20:34 GMT
Iconic Afflecks saved by owners
Afflecks Palace (photo courtesy of MEN Syndication)
Afflecks Palace is regarded as a Manchester icon
A shopping emporium in Manchester's Northern Quarter has been saved from closure after its landlords struck a deal following months of negotiations.

Afflecks Palace is popular among the city's youth for its many market-type stalls which sell punk, retro and avant-garde fashions.

Its future was thrown into doubt as its 25-year lease is set to expire in June.

The emporium, which has been trading for 26 years, has been bought out by landlords Bruntwood.

They struck a deal with manager and founder Elaine Walsh as an interim measure but are planning to find someone else with expertise in running similar enterprises to buy it from them.

'Absolutely chuffed'

In a joint statement, Bruntwood and Afflecks' management team said: "After 26 years of trading, Afflecks management has sold their company to Bruntwood in an agreement that protects the future of Afflecks.

"Bruntwood will manage Afflecks while they look for a new owner."

Anything that's good that's come out of Manchester over the last 25 years - the bands, the music scene - most of it has had its beginnings in Afflecks Palace
Vanessa Cawley, trader

A Bruntwood spokesman added: "Never in our 30-year history have we bought one of our customer's businesses but Afflecks is a Manchester icon that we wanted to protect.

"We aren't however expert in managing markets, so will look for a suitable long-term owner.

Traders who had been told they would have to vacate the five-storey building by the end of January are celebrating the news.

Vanessa Cawley, who has been selling vintage clothes, fancy dress, jewellery and accessories at Afflecks Palace for the past 25 years, said: "I am absolutely chuffed to bits.

"Anything that's good that's come out of Manchester over the last 25 years - the bands, the music scene - most of it has had its beginnings in Afflecks Palace.

"The Roses, The Happy Mondays, they used to go in there. It's such an iconic and great building."

Councillor Pat Karney from Manchester City Council added: "I am delighted a deal has been done.

"Afflecks Palace is the face of the Northern Quarter and the face of independent retailing in Manchester."



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