English Heritage has declined to give listed status to ITV’s Coronation Street set as it fails to meet the requirements which would protect the site from demolition.
The first outdoor set was constructed in the late 1960s on a nearby lot to the current location with the third structure, which remains in use, opened in 1982. An unknown person has attempted to have the terraced row of houses protected from destruction as Granada Television, the makers of the programme, plan to relocate to new studios in around 12 months time.
The Coronation Street structure is part of a backlot behind the Quay Street studios of ITV in Manchester, which became the first purpose build television centre in the world, beating the BBC’s Television Centre in London by four years.
A statement from English Heritage said the row of houses, while unusual, were not something that could be listed for posterity, saying “the criteria against which we must assess the architectural significance of buildings – or in this case, a television set – is extremely strict. The oldest buildings are just less than 30 years old – and most do not have interiors and therefore exist as facades, most of which have been altered.
“The set as it stands today is an active reminder of the long-running television programme, rather than a survival of an earlier era of television productions.”
The future of the Rovers Return Inn and other fictional Weatherfield locations such as The Kabin newsagents and Roys Rolls cafe face an uncertain lifespan as Granada and ITV have yet to sell the site. A new replica street is currently under construction at Salford Quays, where ITV will relocate its local news for the North West and serial production of the saga.
While the backlot may be deemed not historic enough for English Heritage there are mootings that the entire set could re-open as a television tourist attraction. The Granada Studios Tours previously ran successfully from 1988 until 2001 when due to increased filming the attraction had to be closed.
The tour included a wander down Coronation Street, as well as several other attractions including an interior set of the House of Commons, a New York street and the home of detective Sherlock Holmes.
English Heritage’s Nick Bridgland told the BBC: “While listing is not appropriate for the set, a better solution could be for a local group or organisation with an interest to care for it and allow Corrie fans from all over the world to visit and enjoy it.”
Coronation Street began at the Quay Street studios in December 1960 and is currently the world’s forth longest running serial behind The Guiding Light which began in 1937, followed by 1951-launched The Archers and As The world Turns in 1956.