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Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 16:00 GMT
Granada studio tours to end
Granada Studios, Manchester
5.5 million people visited Granada Studios
Granada Television, which makes Coronation Street for ITV, is to close its studios in Manchester to the public.

Since 1988, fans had been able to visit the studios where interior scenes for Granada's TV dramas, including Coronation Street, are shot.

The Granada Studios complex was one of the most popular attractions in the north west of England, attracting 5.5 million visitors between 1988 and 1999.

Themed tours at the attraction included a trip down Baker Street and a visit to a set of the House of Commons which was used in the adaptation of First Among Equals.

Johnny Briggs
Street star: Johnny Briggs as Mike Baldwin
But falling visitor numbers meant it concentrated on corporate hospitality events after 1999, and now Granada is closing it altogether, with the loss of 38 full and part-time jobs.

The move follows Granada's split into two companies - Granada Media, which controls its TV interests, and Granada Compass, which specialises in leisure and hospitality.

A spokeswoman told BBC News Online: "We are no a pure media company with no further interests in the hospitality business.

"The number of visitors was tailing off and when we looked at it there was no feasible alternative to closing it."

Granada is also pooling its Manchester studio facilities with the BBC to form a new venture, 3sixtymedia.

Coronation Street fans will still be able to see outdoor sequences being filmed during a number of open days, which will be announced soon.

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03 Aug 00 | Entertainment
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