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Granada Studios Site: What's Next?

Developer Allied London unveils plans for 'St John's Quarter', the £26.5m former ITV site

Written by . Published on August 7th 2014.


Granada Studios Site: What's Next?
 

DEVELOPER Allied London have unveiled preliminary plans for Granada Studios at the 13.5 acre former-ITV site.

The developer, which gave Manchester the Spinningfields district, laid out the plans on-site at a public event on Thursday 7 August fronted by Allied London chief Mike Ingall.

Subject to planning, work could commence from the end of 2015.

Ingall also suggested that the 'neighbourhood' theme would be bolstered by the possibility of a small school for residents, a doctor's surgery, places of worship and greengrocers.

Last summer, Allied London and the City Council announced a partnership, which would see ITV's Quay Street complex purchased for £26.5m as the broadcaster moved out to MediaCityUK.

Allied London would take a five-year lease of the studios while working on plans for redevelopment.

In January, Allied London chief Mike Ingall announced that the site would be lead by residential developments, with plans to create a 'modern village with commercial uses'. In the mean time the studios were opened up to short-term arts and cultural events.

Granada StudiosGranada Studios

New plansNew plans

The new set of plans will see the area renamed 'St John's Quarter', and a number of buildings demolished, including half of the current studios. It's also bad news for Corrie fans, as the film-set looks set to be swallowed up by developments. "What of Coronation Street?" asked Confidential. "Well, do you see it on the plans?" replied Ingall.

The term pervading much of Ingall's presentation was 'neighbourhood'. From an original ten architects back in January, Ingall stated that only Ian Simpson Architects - behind such projects as Beetham Tower, Urbis and No1 Deansgate - "interpreted the brief correctly and understood the concept of 'neighbourhood'."

The new plans set-out two key components, 'The Village' and 'The Sky'.

'The Village' will consist of a number of tightly-grained four to seven storey buildings stretching across the site, from Lower Byrom Street to the River Irwell. This village would combine commerical studio space, for 'media companies and internet businesses to designers, makers and artists', perched above a ground floor of retail.

Above the retail and studio space would sit a layer of residential developments, or 'roof-scapes', including terraced garden areas. Something Mr Ingall refers to as 'lateral living' - a trendy city-slicker term for equivalent house space set out across one floor with outside areas (who needs stairs eh?).

Allied London's presentationAllied London's presentation at Granada Studios

The VillageThe Village

Ingall also suggested that the 'neighbourhood' theme would be bolstered by the possibility of a small school for residents, a doctor's surgery, places of worship and greengrocers. It would be "a neighbourhood combining residential with start-up and enterprise", something that Ingall related "more to Northern Quarter than to the corporate nature of Spinningfields."

Plans included five 20 to 30-storey residential towers looming over the village and forming 'The Sky', an ordered series of buildings 'providing an elevated retreat for residents living above the city.'

The tall buildings though are 'a distraction', according to Ingall. "The real emphasis," he said, "is what is happening at ground floor level. How we're not looking to create buildings but create spaces, a weave of small streets." Even if, as he said himself, the 3D polystyrene model on show 'was a bit crap'.

3D model: 'a bit crap'3D model: 'a bit crap'

Old Granada StudiosOld Granada Studios

He also stated that the remaining half of the production studios would be kept for events of artistic and cultural significance, whilst Allied London were currently in talks with ITV to create an area of legacy for the broadcaster.

Ingall stated that the first phase of the development, set for autumn 2015, would see the HQ building on Atherton Street (Confidential's current home) turned into a hotel, with the first stage of 'The Village' getting underway on Great John Street (site of the current Coronation Street Tour).

The second phase of development would begin sometime between 2017 and 2018. 

Ian Simpson, chief architect and Allied London's 'appointed masterplanner' said:

"The idea is one of lower level continuation from St John's Street and Gardens with five, six or seven storey buildings creating an intimate series of spaces that allow you to meander through the site, discovering new spaces and routes.

"The original concept was very much about working with the assets of the site, the existing buildings and special places around Granada Studios, but also creating strong connections through to Deansgate and Spinningfields.

"That's all about people and creating intimate spaces that people can relate to, not grand public squares but more pockets of space, little ginnels that create unexpected experiences as you move through the site. Integrated into that is a series of independent retailers at ground level, studios and workspaces above that and residential on top. That will create something very special for Manchester."

Allied London's new set of plans for Granada Studios will not yet be put forward to the Council's planning department on a formal basis. According to Ingall the designs are 'a mere strategic framework up for informal discussion and debate', with definite plans to be put forward in autumn.

www.oldgranadastudios.com

Granada TV

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81 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DanAugust 7th 2014.

Well it's progress, I guess. Why they can't keep Coronation St set?

1 Response: Reply To This...
MarkAugust 8th 2014.

Like we need even more flats and offices that can't be filled. Try bringing some business here and stop the drain to the ridiculous London

Mr DeansgateAugust 7th 2014.

Seems more about how much they can get per square foot for pension plans rather than using the space for something inspiring. Seems like a lot of hot wind for basically some offices and flats. Disappointing Manchester deserves more

8 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidAugust 7th 2014.

More, like what? What do you think would be better in a city centre than 'some offices and flats', as if offices and homes aren't what you would expect in a city?!

Twizzer88August 7th 2014.

How about a park, if they are serious about attracting families?

Staff
David BlakeAugust 7th 2014.

Plans do indicate a new green space off Great John Street, Twizzer.

PooleAugust 8th 2014.

Are you sure you aren't just looking at St John's Garden's, David Blake? They are already there, between Gt John St and Byrom St. The only reason they haven't been concreted over is that they are the burial ground for over 13,000 bodies. That is what it takes to secure a park in Manchester!

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

No families in the City Centre please. They only moan about the noise from the bars.

Noise ComplaintAugust 8th 2014.

Anyone can complain about noise, It doesn't matter where they live. If the pub on the corner of my street in the burbs suddenly upped the volume by 10% on a Friday & saturday night i'd complain too.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

City centre living is not a place to bring up children.

tomegranateAugust 8th 2014.

It's not, but it could, and arguably should, be.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

I am sure neighbourhood is a theme and nothing but a theme to this company,but like any other other they peddle on their other developments on Spinningfields.The bland,the safe and the corporate.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

I can't believe something so intrinsically linked to Manchester and its history, which draws in visitors from all over the world, will be bulldozed and replaced with some soulless flats just to line the pockets of some arrogant developers and whoever else is in the money chain. The Cavern springs to mind. An absolute f***ing disgrace.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidAugust 7th 2014.

"just to line the pockets of some arrogant developers and whoever else is in the money chain." And also to provide people somewhere to live and work. But perhaps you don't think that's important.

MGSAugust 7th 2014.

Are you saying manchester is that starved of space that we should plough through all the heritage assets Gimboid?

GimboidAugust 7th 2014.

Nope....?

GimboidAugust 7th 2014.

I just find it annoying when people characterise building homes and offices as being purely of benefit to the developers, as if there's not a market demanding the product and we're not in the middle of a housing crisis. Yes, we should deliver those and keep our heritage assets too.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

The excellent 'Road to Coronation Street' drama about the birth of the programme is a really powerful depiction of how the writers, artists, producers and executives beavering away in Granada House and the studios created the magic of that programme amongst many others. These buildings are where the heritage value is embodied not a film set which is temporary by design. Once the set is no longer used for filming or tourism it really has little value; to retain it would make the place feel like a theme park. I think the developers have got it spot on. Perhaps they could retain just the Rovers Return in some form using it in the same way as the Oast House?

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

Good to see a few towers planned....

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark FullerAugust 7th 2014.

Absolutely: love 'em, can't get enough; the taller and more phallic the better.

NickiAugust 7th 2014.

I heard that houses were being built to encourage more families into the city and people like me that want a house? Disappointed with MORE apartments. More boxes in the sky- there are numerous blocks of these already (I live in one) and more like Axis etc being planned.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

a family house built on some of the most expensive land in the country would have to be priced at such a level that most people in the UK couldn't afford it. The only economic use of areas of the city would be apartment blocks, large family houses will only be viable for ordinary people in the suburbs and even there, in Manchester, they will be pricy..

GimboidAugust 7th 2014.

Well said Anon. We should look to the continent where families happily live in the centre of cities in apartment blocks. So long as there's public green space nearby, houses in city centres aren't needed, or sensible.

NickiAugust 8th 2014.

Well Gimboid you make a good point and until more green space created and pets allowed in apartments that's not looking likely to happen. Allied London have started building the Cotton Building on the green land in Spiiningfields with another un-inspiring office/retail block.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

@nicki...that space was always intended to be an office block, stayed as a lawn so long due to the recession. Allied London have done well with the public realm in that area but it is a commercial enterprise and will provide well paid much needed jobs for the city

Poster BoyAugust 7th 2014.

+1 for the irony of Ian Simpson grandstanding about creating 'little ginnels'. Just like Library Walk you would assume...

2 Responses: Reply To This...
MGSAugust 7th 2014.

HA!

GimboidAugust 7th 2014.

Haha. Better make sure they include gates in the plans. Better safe than sorry.

MGSAugust 7th 2014.

lateral living - hilarious

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

To answer the Corrie point.. ITV don't want it to continue as over time it will detract from the brand and can easily become damaged and tainted and won't reflect The Street as it evolves... To those shouting about removing history.. from what I can see the main iconic Granada building is to be retained.. hoorah for that! I do hope there will be some nod to the creativity that stood there for 50 years, some iconic names retained.. but mostly some nod to the Bernstein brothers who brought Granada to Manchester over half a century ago. from what I can see of these plans I am excited to see a mix of old and new with many buildings retained.. excited and shocked to be honest.. good news for Manchester!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

Well said. Just hope it doesn't get too watered down during the consultation and planning process.

AnonymousFebruary 4th 2015.

We can have Carson court Phoenix House Tatlock Terrace and even better Speed Dwelling. Then it will really sound like it is in Salford Precinct.

AnonymousAugust 7th 2014.

Some small minded sniping in the comments above. I for one am really impressed with this plan. It has intimacy, drama and real character. I can imagine those streets will be a real pleasure to walk. I hope they do build out the towers because they will make for some great vistas. Other big plus points are the large family-sized apartments and most unexpectedly, the respect being paid to the heritage of the site retaining all the important assets in Granada House, the studios and the bonded warehouse. I really am struggling to find anything about this I don't like. Get on and build it!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SquirrelitoAugust 7th 2014.

Not a lot of sniping though. If this comes off, it could be brilliant. Linking all the land up to Regent Rd, Middlewood Locks, Chapel St / Crescent, and via Ordsall and Pomona, the Quays into the central core.

SquirrelitoAugust 7th 2014.

I'm struggling to think of the last time that optimism in the potential of the city was so palpable. The raft of development that has either recently started or come (back) on to the table with a real sense of "will" rather than "could" be achieved is phenomenal.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Another Quarter? Why do people talk in 'quarters' these days? It's not New Orleans. Let's call Piccadilly Gardens the Scrote Quarter or Chorlton Street the 'Scum Quarter'.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidAugust 8th 2014.

Quarter is a legitimate name for an area of a city anywhere, and has been for centuries. In any case I foresee that in practice people will just call the area St Johns.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

I'd like an Anonymous Quarter. It could be filled with negativity and anti-Manchester diatribe. Hope it's nowhere near me. [I'm just adopting the anon moniker for today].

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

That's Mancon's doing though Anon. Some people used to be able to sign in. Now they can't, so they post as Anon.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

But ManCon hasn't made negativity compulsory.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

For some reason my works computer has blocked me from seeing the pictures! So I can only go off what's been described and the comments from people who can see what I can't! It all sounds exciting and i'm looking forward to seeing the plans later at home, but I was hoping they would keep the Coronation St set. I don't watch it myself but I know millions do and it would be something lots of people would have on their to do list if they were ever in Manchester. It's as if we are only interested in apartments, bars, restaurants and shopping? The places I visit abroad have places to eat, drink and shop just as good and in a lot of cases better than we have, but I didn't go to these places for that. I went for the attractions and culture. It seems we are knocking a bit of ours down?

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Just come back from two weeks working in Glasgow. Stunning city centre with loads of lovely Georgian architecture.... then you've got Manchester city centre... soulless and bland

5 Responses: Reply To This...
ShybaldbuddhistAugust 8th 2014.

The whole of central Manchester is bland?

TomegranateAugust 8th 2014.

Total bollocks, Anon.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Ever been to the John Ryland Anon?

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Move if you don't like it. Everyone always comments on how nice other cities are, go and live there then!!

AnonymousAugust 10th 2014.

I spent many years in GLASGOW, which is mainly VIOCTORIAN..VERY little Georgian stuff..Great city YES, but so is OURS!!!

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

So...if there was a random survey asking people out of three city centres - Glasgow, Newcastle and Manchester.... rank them in order...where do you seriously think Manchester would be placed?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
TomegranateAugust 8th 2014.

It doesn't matter. If Manchester comes last, it doesn't mean Manchester is soulless and bland. Logic fail.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Newcastle would come last, obviously.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

It's a matter of personal opinion. I wasn't so impressed with Glasgow doesn't mean nobody else it.

rinkydinkAugust 8th 2014.

First obviously...?

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

The most eye-catching building in Manchester is a b****y Hilton hotel

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

The loveliest building is the town hall.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Yes...it's lovely... but next to an Armani ...seriously. There's no care about heritage in this city. All about building the next Costa and knocking down old buildings. If Manchester built within it's existing buildings like other cities it'd be far more attractive. The problem is the people will start reflecting the make up of the city. But...but... I do think the new Arts centre opposite the Hacienda and the indoor market in the Corn Exchange will make a difference.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkAugust 8th 2014.

What indoor market in the Corn Exchange? It's going to be restaurants and a hotel isn't it?

JoanAugust 8th 2014.

Are you complaining that the John Rylands library is next to Armani? Do you know how John Rylands became so wealthy that he could afford to become a renowned bibliophile? Irony.

AnonymousAugust 9th 2014.

I love the contrast between the John Rylands Library and the building that houses The Armani store. A stunning and much photographed piece of juxtaposition that works really well.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

But Tomegranate...where is the soul then? We all love the Geordie, Scouser..even Glaswegian. But what is the nationwide opinion of the Manc?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
TomegranateAugust 8th 2014.

I'm not sure how one could even attempt answer that first question, so I'm not going to attempt to. I'm just disputing the daft idea that Manchester is bland. Just wander around areas like Peter Street, Princess Street, Whitworth Street, Whalley Range, Castlefield, Ancoats, the NQ, the Co-Op estate, St Peter's Square, if you disagree.

TomegranateAugust 8th 2014.

*attempt to answer

AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

Whitworth Street with Origin starting up again and insensitive modes to some facades, but we got the yellow painting un don and the 135 yo reailing back but not yet painted.

HbiffAugust 11th 2014.

Rule of thumb: All ANONYMOUS comments = crap.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

But what are these streets known for? NQ is an attempt Shoreditch but a bit mucky. Princess St is a little seedy. Whitworth St has.. Castlefield is decent I admit... but just new-build flats and Dukes. Ancoats? Er....potential but not a tourist hot-spot. St Peter's Square is nice but could be improved with things called grass and flowers. There is actually no focal point in the city. You can get a Costa anywhere though... so credit where cre..

1 Response: Reply To This...
TomegranateAugust 8th 2014.

Anon I can only imagine you're experiencing a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees - that you're over familiar with Manchester's streets so that you can't appreciate the fact that all these places do have distinctive characters. Or it might be a matter of taste, but that's only down to you.

AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Why can't we have some tourist attractions? There's plenty of space for more media offices in the wasteland between here and Media City!! A proper Corrie experience, a museum celebrating Manchester through the ages that is modern and fun as well as markets by the river would make Manchester a tourist destination. All we can do with visitors now is show them the shops.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 8th 2014.

Fantastic ideas.

GimboidAugust 8th 2014.

"All we can do with visitors now is show them the shops." Apart from the three+ galleries (at least four if you count the Lowry at SQ), the four museums (five if you include IWMN), four libraries (in the city centre), numerous live music venues, theatres, three notable churches... and shops. Sure, there needs to be more variety to do in the city centre, but ignorant generalisations that grossly do the city down REALLY grate my cheese.

AnonymousAugust 9th 2014.

...there's always that daft museum full of old footballs...

AnonymousAugust 9th 2014.

Why is the football museum daft? I am man over 60, never been to a football match, and can find nothing to enjoy in watching 22 men kicking a ball around a field. However I do appreciate that it is enjoyed by many. I also realise what football brings to this city in particular. To diminish its importance is to make you look the daft one!

James SmithAugust 9th 2014.

I though the Granada TV exhibition at URBIS was magnificent, the best thing that was held there in my opinion. I don't get it, would people not pay to visit the corrie set? would it not generate income for businesses near it? Surely a unit in a tourist trap would command more rent than one next to some flats, the Left Bank has been dead since day one because there is no reason to go down there, why do Allied London think this will be any different?

Jennifer ConroyAugust 8th 2014.

I cannot ever believe that Manchester could be considered bland! You only need look up to see the beautiful architecture. The above poster is correct in saying some have become over-familiar with something they maybe see every day - familiarity breeds contempt, which some seem to have for our beautiful city.

moragAugust 9th 2014.

My snarkometer is off the radar at simpson advocating ginnels... i thought he considered them dangerous! Others have already mentioned library walk, and it does seem to be a recurring theme on mancon rants so please forgive the inappropriateness of this a gentle reminder: If you want to speak at the public inquiry in October the Planning Inspectorate must recieve a statement from you by August 12 (it does not have to be long or detailed). More information from savelibrarywalk@gmail.com cheers, Morag

James SmithAugust 9th 2014.

Depressing. It would be great to have one, just one, development that didn't involve knocking down something of interest or nice or historic. Manchester is not London, the cost of land is not a premuim, why can't we just preserve some of the uniqueness, i just don't get it. Is it the conspiracy theorists demolition firm kick back, a hatred of the past by our 'elected' representatives, or are those in control of planning just a bit simple? Can somebody please shed some light because I am at a total loss to explain. You do know that Booth Street police station is next in line for the wrecking ball by the way?

AnonymousAugust 10th 2014.

Ian Simpson was the only one who "interpreted the brief correctly and understood the concept of 'neighbourhood'." Sure. And he knew the lodges handshake! Bessie mates with our 'great' leader Leese surely helps - a lot.

AnonAugust 10th 2014.

Just exactly which buildings of significance are being knocked down? You idiots. They say the most significant buildings, Bonded Warehouse, Granada HQ, Breeze Studio and the Hydraulic Accumulator Tower are being brought back to life. None of these are listed. Coronation Street is just a stage set which is falling apart, just because you like it doesn't make it significant. English Heritage refused to list it. Most of these comments suggest most of you haven't engaged with what was displayed and are just using this as another excuse to regurgitate your standard tired old rubbish about Manchester. This is a city centre, stop thinking of it as a suburb. Are you just over compensating for the fact that you make no real contribution to the city other than with words? I think so, so why don't you get a job where you can make a difference, stay quiet or move to another city. Just please stop moaning.

Reader CattrellAugust 10th 2014.

Sounds like a council estate - 5 towers, bt of green space for the kids and some houses. Awesome and inspiring yay

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 11th 2014.

The Backside of Castlefield is even worse. Just enter it from Deansgate

GimboidAugust 11th 2014.

We'll have no talk of entering backsides thank you!

Patricia CallaghanAugust 11th 2014.

Let's face it, the developers don't live in Manchester probably only met in an office building,and just want to build as many skyscrapers as is possible.Rake in the council tax and make it it look just like America.

AnonymousAugust 12th 2014.

Allied London should do the decent thing and hand over the Coronation Street set to MoSI to have as a paid attraction which could booth their revenues.

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