Petition to save Coronation Street’s old set from being turned into high-rise towers

A petition to save the old Coronation Street set is close to reaching its target of 500 supporters.

The site on St John’s Street and its surrounding area is set to become St John’s Quarter, a complex containing high-rise residential towers and a ‘Village’ of mixed-use buildings.

The former Corrie set is no longer in use after the iconic British television programme moved to its new premises at MediaCityUK.

The petition on states it is not against the new Regeneration Framework and recognises that the internal and external sets in their entirety could not realistically be retained.

However the petitioners cannot understand why at least a part of the set cannot be saved.

Juliet Cusimano, who is leading the appeal, said in the petition: “We think the framework is great, providing the basis for a fabulous, inspirational, vibrant and mixed-use city neighborhood. We applaud the two concepts underlying the plan.

“But we cannot see why even a part of the iconic Coronation Street set cannot be retained. 

With its strong characters and richly comic writing, Coronation Street is rooted in the ‘kitchen sink drama’ of the late 1950s.

“It 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.”

Whilst the set in question was not the original street used when the soap began in 1960, it has seen many famous faces grace its cobbles since being set up in 1982.

Ms Cusimano added: “At the moment when you walk down the cobbled street past the Rovers Return or go inside the pub interior, you’re having the unique experience of walking where Ena Sharples, Annie Walker, Bet Lynch, Hilda and Stan Ogden, Vera and Jack Duckworth, Elsie Tanner, Alf Roberts and many other famous and much loved characters have walked before you.

“You’ll never have this experience at the new set in Salford because these characters or the actors who played them have retired or died.”  

Unlike the new, life-size set in MediaCity, the buildings at the former Manchester city centre site are only 70% of full building size – it relied on filming to make the houses, shop and pub look realistic.

English Heritage said the set has ‘strong cultural interest as one of the pre-eminent entertainment productions of the second half of the twentieth century. A purpose built permanent outdoor set location is extremely rare for any television programme’.

The three requests within the petition are as follows:

  1. 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,
  2. Manchester City Council not to approve the Framework without such amendment, and 
  3. ITV to modify any legal condition they may have made when selling their land that would prevent such amendment.

Image courtesy of SteHLiverpool, with thanks. 

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