The former Coronation Street set at Quay Street is to be demolished to make way for flats, offices and shops.
The ITV soap moved to a new home in Trafford at the beginning of the year, with the old set at Granada TV opened to fans as a temporary tourist attraction. But demolition work looks set to usher in a redevelopment of the area, following its purchase by Allied London.
An ITV spokesperson confirmed to BBC News today: “Coronation Street’s new home is at MediaCityUK and the tour at Quay Street was always for a limited time. Although we can’t confirm the official closure date – once the tour has closed, ITV will return the site to Allied London with the Coronation Street lot removed.”
Corrie was based at Granada from the earliest days of the show in 1960 through to the end of 2013, with the exterior set that has recently been opened up to tourists having been in use from 1982 until December last year. The set was refused listed status in 2012, while more than 200,000 visitors have walked the famous cobbles since the tour opened in April.
The very first Coronation Street set was built in 1960 in a now disused studio on the Quay Street site. Due to size restrictions, the street was constructed in two halves, so shots of the whole terrace were impossible. The pavement and cobbles were painted onto the studio floor. Despite the limitations, some complex scenes were filmed there, including the collapse of No 7 in 1965 and the 1967 crash when a train careered off the viaduct and Ena Sharples was trapped under rubble.
The first outdoor set, used from 1968 to 1982, was unpopular: “The coldest place on earth,” is how Jean Alexander (Hilda Ogden) remembers it. The 1982 set was opened by the Queen – on her visit to the studios, her Majesty was greeted by Julie Goodyear (Bet Lynch) in a pair of Charles and Diana earrings: “See? I even know which side of the bed they sleep on!” the actress told the monarch.
Coronation Street: the Tour is due to close on 4 October, although there is the possibility that it will remain open until the demolition work begins.