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Granada agrees MediaCity move

Long-running saga ends with Corrie moving to Trafford

Published on December 22nd 2010.


Granada agrees MediaCity move

ITV has finally confirmed its move to the MediaCityUK site on Salford Quays, which will also include Coronation Street.

Britain’s longest-running soap will relocate to a new production facility, to be built on the MediaCityUK site next to the Imperial War Museum North.

ITV staff, including the ITV Granada regional news team, will take up residence in offices on the Salford Quays side of the development in 2012.

Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV plc, said: “It’s terrific news for ITV and all of our people based in Manchester that we have agreed this deal with Peel Media.

“This continues our long and successful relationship with the region which has played such a key part in ITV’s heritage as a programme maker. Coronation Street is an incredible brand and as we celebrate its 50th anniversary, it’s fantastic news that we are able to invest in the construction of a modern production centre to ensure that the nation’s best-loved soap remains at the top of its game for another half a century.”

John Whittaker, chairman, The Peel Group, said: “ITV is an outstanding international brand producing a fantastic range of popular programmes and I am delighted it has taken a strategic decision to move to MediaCityUK. This is a landmark deal for both MediaCityUK and The Peel Group, and is critical in helping to deliver the long-term vision that we share with all our partners.”

Bryan Gray, chairman of Peel Media, added: “Today’s announcement by ITV is a huge milestone in the growth of MediaCityUK and will perfectly complement the BBC North headquarters. To have both ITV and the BBC on the same campus, as well as our new partnership with SIS, will act as a catalyst to other like-minded companies to consider making MediaCityUK their home from 2011.”

ITV is set to build a bespoke production and studio centre for Coronation Street. The stand alone facility, which will be subject to a long-term lease, would be built by ITV on a 7.7 acre site at Trafford Wharf, adjacent to the Imperial War Museum North and accessed by a new bridge across the ship canal to the main MediaCityUK complex. The bridge is due to open to the public early in the new year.

Dedicated accommodation has also been earmarked for ITV across several floors within MediaCityUK’s Orange tower, providing modern offices equipped with the latest technology for ITV Studios’ production and management teams, ITV regional news, and support staff from across the business.

Coronation Street’s move to MediaCityUK is subject to planning consent from Trafford Council. Cllr Matt Colledge, leader of the council, said: "I am absolutely delighted that ITV have chosen Trafford as the proposed new site for one of the most iconic streets in Britain.

"The MediaCityUK development is exciting for the whole of the Greater Manchester region, and we are particularly delighted that these proposals would bring a significant part of the scheme into Trafford. This investment in Trafford Wharf will enhance the existing site including the developing walkway and new bridge, linking Trafford to Salford and the existing MediaCityUK development.”

Site will be on the other side, west side of the IWMN

ITV Studios is the region’s biggest producer of original content, with over 700 hours of programming made annually.

In addition to the Coronation Street complex, ITV Studios also has the opportunity to take advantage of MediaCityUK’s dedicated production facilities – one of the largest high definition studio complexes in Europe. The studios have now completed a series of operational tests and will be ready for making the first programmes from Salford Quays in early 2011. ITV’s regional news team will broadcast from a dedicated studio within the Orange building.

Editorial comment

So it’s confirmed that ITV will move their Granada operation including Coronation Street and its set to MediaCity.

Or rather Trafford Park, a short footbridge walk away from the Beeb.The site will lie between the Imperial War Museum North (IWMN) and the still functioning dry dock to the west.

All this has been a subject of rumour and counter rumour for years.

Now it’s happened. The old Manchester Ship Canal Company, aka Peel Group, has again pulled the rabbit out of the hat. In a stroke it’s increased the prestige of the whole MediaCity area and also given a boost to the tourist attractions of the IWMN and The Lowry.

With the Beeb joined by ITV, the Pie Factory and the Salford University media departments, this place is truly becoming a MediaCity. The latter rather empty sounding grandiose title four years ago has bulked up, it’s become a huge reality of international scale.

Any residual annoyance in the City of Manchester and the Town Hall’s chief executives department about another city centre institution fleeing, should be minimal. Disappointment has to be tempered by the fact that having this vast engine of broadcasting, digital delivery and general luvviness closer to the city centre than its own suburb of Fallowfield, can only increase the prestige of the city region of which Manchester is its heart.

At the same time the existing set off Water Street should surely go to the Museum of Science and Industry, it’s neighbour. Prior to its closure as a visitor attraction in the early noughties the Granada Studios site attracted over half a million visitors. If MOSI could charge a fee for cobble botherers to stroll the original Corrie, then invest across their own site with the winnings, MOSI could soar to the stratosphere.

As Tony Hill, boss of MOSI, said to us this morning: “We have always said that we’d be interested in talking to Granada about Coronation Street and we’d welcome the opportunity to continue that dialogue.”

Spare a thought for the Manchester Evening News in all this. They had a chance to join the party at MediaCity but decided to stay in the city centre at a high rent, then couldn't afford it, got sold to Trinity Mirror Group, and ended up heading east to an industrial estate. And lonely isolation.

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

Horatio CafeDecember 16th 2010.

Funny that about the MEN. But hindsight is a wonderful thing

press buyerDecember 16th 2010.

At least the cast members can relax in the knowledge that there are no more viaducts for Trams to fall off!

GryserDecember 16th 2010.

No but a ship can now crash onto the set during a tsunami

Christopher BryanDecember 16th 2010.

Just goes to show that if you hold your nerve and have some vision then you can make things happen. You will still get your naysayers (Salford Star, Tabloid press etc) though who talk of the taxpayer cost of the project but provide no counter vision. The work is on now to ensure that the project really does become a vehicle for local good and the investment that has been made actually results in a great legacy for the future ofthe area. MediaCityUK can't just be an island in Salford.

As regards the city centre losing out - it just frees up those areas for development and keen eyed groups like MOSI will always see opportunities. There's no need to be parochial about administrative borders - that's all they are - invisable lines. The whole of Gtr Manchester/the north should benefit.

Eddy TatlockDecember 16th 2010.

The new ITV building really looks quite good doesnt it? Where as Sidney Bernstein employed one of the best architects of the day, in Ralph Tubbs, to design the Granada buildings it seems ITV have asked the people who design Toys R Us stores to do the new one.

Kevin PeelDecember 16th 2010.

Perhaps I should lament the loss of this institution from the city centre, but I agree with ManCon - this can only enrich the city-region as a whole and bring more people and investment into Manchester, Salford and the wider region. I also think the MOSI idea is a very exciting one and hope Granada take it seriously and don't sell off the site to developers.

Could Do BetterDecember 16th 2010.

I agree Eddy. The new building looks as dull as ditch water, plus I'm sick to the back teeth of seeing this type of architecture (The One Trick Pony Simpson Style): glorified boxes with the odd sweep and curve, decorated with random effect cladding and glass, and a few bits sticking out. Same, same, same. Boring, boring, boring.

mantexDecember 16th 2010.

The editor needs to brush up on his use of the apostrophe. Try this -

www.mantex.co.uk/…/…

NahDecember 16th 2010.

Sub-editor probably. And really if you complain here, complain about the Telegraph, the Mail, the Guardian....it's all gone to pot.

HandittothemDecember 16th 2010.

Peel Group - spectacular year for them eh?

AnonymousDecember 16th 2010.

Granada House - get it listed.

Burt CodeineDecember 17th 2010.

One day, Salford/Trafford Quays will get a stunning piece of architecture, IWMN aside (tis heavily out numbered by the average). Still, these are studio buildings and as such, not usually associated with anything other than prosaic work sheds (look at hollywood, shepperton, pinewood...but look what is made there). Functional and full of vitality on the inside. Have to say I was disappointed when I saw the final renders of Mediacity...but on a visit, a proud tear of joy fell upon one of my cheeks. Let's get some more (channel 4?) on board, via a Waxi. We're quite lucky up here - life is good in Salchester.

EdwinaDecember 22nd 2010.

Where will the red Granada sign end up? Stick it on top of the new building to give it some personality please.

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