A petition to save the old Coronation Street set has been put to Manchester City Council as part of the consultation on the regeneration framework for the former ITV Granada site.
The framework for a £1bn regeneration of the 13-acre Quay Street site was approved by the council in October 2014 and is open for consultation until 16 January.
The letter to Manchester City Council, Allied London and ITV is included on the 'Save the Coronation Street set' campaign page on petition website change.org which was set up on 6 January and has gained 1,000 supporters. The group puts three main requests to the Manchester Quays, the joint venture between Allied London and the council, and ITV.
The requests are:
- Manchester Quays Ltd to amend the St John's Quarter Regeneration Framework so that the most iconic part of the Coronation Street set is retained as described later,
- Manchester City Council not to approve the Framework without such amendment, and
- ITV to modify any legal condition they may have made when selling their land that would prevent such amendment.
The letter goes on to say that "the set is as much part of Manchester and UK cultural history as Elizabeth Gaskell, the Halle Orchestra, John Barbirolli, Anthony Burgess, Manchester United, Manchester City, the Smiths, Tony Wilson and Factory Records."
Manchester Quays purchased the site in 2013. However, the Coronation Street set is still owned by ITV, which is responsible for any decision as to the future of the set. The set is currently open for tours which are due to run until January 2016.
Previous attempts to list the set in 2012 and 2014 were rejected by English Heritage.
The petition described the framework as "great, providing the basis for a fabulous, inspirational, vibrant and mixed-use city neighbourhood", but says "we cannot see why even a part of the iconic Coronation Street set cannot be retained."
The campaign group admitted that retaining the whole external and internal sets would be "unrealistic" as it would occupy too much land, and identified that ITV "would not want their 'brand' weakened by tours running at their old set only two miles away" from the new set location at Salford Quays.
There are three development options outlined in the petition, which the group said would make the set "integrated forever into the fabric of the city as a living and changing part of it."
Suggestions included retaining the Coronation Street itself and the Rovers Return as a pub, with the rest of the terrace used as an extension to the pub or as business units; keeping the street name, cobbled surface and Rovers Return and demolishing the north side of the street.
In a comment sent to Place North West this morning, ITV confirmed that plans were still to demolish the old set. A spokesman said: "Coronation Street's new home is at MediaCityUK, and the tour at Quay Street was always for a limited time.
"In October 2014 Continuum Leading Attractions, ITV, Manchester City Council and future developers of the site, Allied London, agreed an extension of the tour through to January 2016.
"Once the tour has closed ITV will return the site to Allied London with the Coronation Street lot removed."
All other parties declined or were unavailable to comment.