Coronation Street set to be rebuilt

Coronation Street cast The Coronation Street cast recently celebrated the show's 50th anniversary

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Coronation Street is to be rebuilt, with a new, larger set to open in 2013.

Filming will move from the Granada complex in central Manchester to Trafford Wharf, near Salford Quays.

The new street, complete with the famous houses and cobbles, will be constructed to a larger scale to cater for the demands of high definition TV.

The 7.7-acre site, which still needs planning permission, will also give the soap the option of expanding with the building of new parts of Weatherfield.

ITV's other Manchester operations will move to the Media City complex in Salford, near a new BBC office that will house programmes such as Match of the Day, BBC Breakfast and Blue Peter.

On the current Coronation Street set, which has been used since 1982, the terraced houses are slightly smaller than real houses.

ITV said the new outdoor set would be built "to greater scale than before".

Expansion plans

"HD is with us so we're going to build it to ensure it stands the test of time," an ITV spokesman said.

"All of the old favourites will be there - the Kabin and the Rovers Return - but it gives us options going forward for expanding. That's the beauty of being on a purpose-built site.

ITV's new production base on Salford Quays ITV's new production base is due to open in 2012

"We're on a 7.7-acre site, so in terms of what happens in the future who knows, but it gives us options from a production perspective that we don't currently have."

Coronation Street was based on a terraced road in Salford when it was devised by creator Tony Warren in 1960. The show has just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

ITV chief executive Adam Crozier said it was "vital that we have a modern, fit-for-purpose, creative hub outside of London".

"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," he said.

ITV also currently produces the Jeremy Kyle Show, Countdown and University Challenge in Manchester, but no decision has been made about whether they will also move.

The BBC is due to begin the move into its new complex next year. BBC Sport, Children's and Radio 5 live are among the departments that will be transferred from London.

A BBC spokesman said: "We would like to offer a warm BBC welcome to our colleagues at ITV.

"They have just celebrated 50 remarkable years of Coronation Street and with this decision we can now work alongside each other to create iconic content for the future."

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