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Page last updated at 13:12 GMT, Tuesday, 28 September 2010 14:12 UK
Doubts over future of Granada TV sign in Manchester
Workmen remove the Granada TV sign
The Granada TV sign was removed by workmen during maintenance work

The iconic Granada TV sign, which adorned the company's Manchester studios for over half a century, has been taken down.

The sign has welcomed visitors into the city centre since the broadcaster built its studios in the 1950s.

The buildings on the Quay Street site are undergoing maintenance and when the sign was inspected, it was found to be heavily corroded.

An ITV spokesperson said the company "had no option but to take it down."

Landmark

The sign has become a Mancunian landmark and has topped the studio complex since it was opened by media entrepreneur Sidney Bernstein in May 1956.

Granada was one of the first four independent television franchises to begin broadcasting, entertaining an audience across the whole of the North of England, until Yorkshire TV opened in 1968.

Granada TV studios
A decision is yet to be made about whether it will be put back up again - we have only just taken it down
ITV spokesperson

It was also the home of Britain's first soap, Coronation Street, which has been by far its biggest success and is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The red lettering on the building became a template for the brand identity of the growing Granada empire in the 1970s and 80s, lending itself to similar signs on motorway service stations and TV rental shops.

However, the brand declined in the 1990s and changes in the ITV format meant that in 2002, it disappeared completely from the screens, replaced by the ubiquitous ITV1.

The sign on the Manchester building though remained unchanged - until now.

The ITV spokesperson explained that the company were "doing routine maintenance on the building and came to that section at the weekend."

Adding: "When we examined the sign, we found that it was badly corroded and with workmen up there, we had no option but to take it down for health and safety reasons."

Protests

The removal was met with protests on the regional ITV news programme Granada Reports' Facebook page , where comments included the suggestion that the "People of Granadaland should protest to ITV" over its removal and calls for it to be put back as soon as possible.

ITV's spokesperson explained that the future of the sign was up in the air at the moment.

"A decision is yet to be made about whether it will be put back up again - we have only just taken it down."

So it may not be farewell to a Mancunian icon and, with it, Granadaland just yet.




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