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A unique artistic collaboration between DeTrafford Estates and fine art photographer Simon Buckley will chart Castlefield’s changing cityscape and provide new insights into the role of the developer in the transition of Manchester. 

Simon, a successful photographer for over 25 years, has recently won plaudits for his intimate twilight portraits of the changing city, documenting Manchester’s Northern Quarter.  His ‘Not Quite Light’ project and exhibition revealed the subtle use of half light at dawn and dusk as a metaphor for transition.

This latest commission will document the evolution of an area bordered by Chester Road and Castlefield Conservation Area over the next five years and examine the priorities and perspectives of DeTrafford Estates’ Director and Founder, Gary Jackson, in a regular video blog.

Simon commented: “Manchester has seen a period of rapid change and development.  I am keen to put a human face to this, beyond mere bricks and mortar, as well as create an historical archive of a changing city.  I see it as the artist and the developer coming together to provide a frank exploration of change as our city modernises and adapts for the future.”

I am delighted that Simon will be bringing his undoubted photographic prowess, artistic perspective and independent approach to tell the story of our Manchester Gardens development. I like to think we are a developer with a difference - not least because of our commitment to the provision of sustainable outdoor spaces for modern city centre living - and I look forward to demonstrating why as the project unfolds.
— Gary Jackson, Founder & Director of DeTrafford Estates

This evolving photographic catalogue, together with the video blog, will be updated on the DeTrafford website and it is hoped the work will eventually be published as a book or form an exhibition.

Manchester City Council recently gave the go-ahead for St George’s Gardens, the fourth phase of the wider development of the area which will comprise the overall Manchester Gardens scheme.  This latest approval brings the number of homes approved to 379, including The Sky Gardens, The City Gardens and the award-nominated Roof Gardens – One Ellesmere Street, the first phase, which is due for completion Q1/Q2 2017.


Simon Buckley is an artist based in Manchester. His project, Not Quite Light, has seen him document at dawn the regeneration of Manchester and Salford around the city centres. He is also currently working on several other projects including one for 5 Plus Architects entitled “You Live With Us, We Live You”

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