Moving upwards: the Manchester loft that lured me from London Moving upwards: the Manchester loft that lured me from London - ImagesGram

Moving upwards: the Manchester loft that lured me from London

A snap decision and spotting this quirky roof space led a first-time buyer to up sticks and head to Manchester

Karen Wilson
Sunday 1 October 2017 06.00 BST

“Iwanted a nice place in a nice area, which would have been a real stretch in London,” says Stuart Eminson. He’s a 44-year-old clarinettist, who’s played with various professional symphony and chamber orchestras – as well as in musicals including WickedCats and Phantom of the Opera. Having rented for 20 years in Primrose Hill and then Camberwell, he was in a quandary. “I was disappointed with the flats I viewed in London,” he says, “so decided to look on the outskirts towards Hertfordshire. But realised I wasn’t ready for the quiet life yet.”

Originally from Nottinghamshire, Stuart fell into London life after studying at the Royal Academy of Music, but discovered Manchester’s charms while touring with Wicked in 2013. “I was staying with friends in the area and just made a snap decision,” he says. “They suggested I rented first, but I just wanted to go the whole hog and buy somewhere. I figured I could always sell it or rent it out if things didn’t work out.”

After 25 viewings, Stuart made an offer on a one-bedroom apartment in the young, central suburb of Chorlton-cum-Hardy. But then a friend steered him towards a two-bedroom converted Victorian loft apartment in the same area.