Coronation Street is to be completely rebuilt as ITV announced plans to create a huge new production complex.
The broadcaster will move its Manchester base to a new home – cobbles and all – at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays in 2012.
ITV said it would build a ‘bespoke production and studio centre’ for the Street, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last week with a ratings-winning tram disaster.
Salford Quays is also the base for a massive BBC development which will be the home of the corporation’s sports operation, as well as Radio 5 Live and children’s programmes.
The ITV centre will be built on a 7.7-acre site at Trafford Wharf, by the Imperial War Museum North. ITV will also take several floors of MediaCityUK’s Orange Building, which will include regional news production.
The Coronation Street move will need to be agreed by planners at the local authority Trafford Council.
The broadcaster said the planned facility ‘extends ITV’s long relationship with the north west of England’.
ITV Studios creates more than 700 hours of programming annually in the region.
The new Coronation Street complex, which will be next to the Manchester Ship Canal, will mean the construction of a vast outdoor set. It will replicate the present Street but will be much larger with more detail, and there will be two sound stages. ITV has been in talks with property and development company Peel Group.
ITV chief executive Adam Crozier said: “It’s terrific news for ITV and all of our people based in Manchester that we have agreed this deal with Peel Media Ltd.”