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BlogHow Has Coronation Street Benefited Manchester Business?

How Has Coronation Street Benefited Manchester Business?

Manchester is generally seen as one of the biggest and brightest UK cities outside of London – it’s the destination of choice for people heading to the north-west.

That could be because of the influential music scene that grew out of the late eighties and early nineties or the lure of seeing where the Premier League trophy seems to spend most of its time. There’s no doubt culturally, Manchester is one of (if not the) most important UK city that’s not the capital.

For many, the first exposure to Manchester will have come not through Sergio Aguero’s goals, the music of Oasis or messy nights at the Hacienda. No, for many, the first time they heard the Mancunian accent will have been on their television sets during their evening fix of Coronation Street.

The long-running soap is something of a national institution. It regular battles with Eastenders at the soap awards, but Nostalgia Central explains it had already been around for 25 years before London brought a comparable soap to our television screens. For 62 years, the street has been part of our national consciousness; Betty’s hotpot isn’t just a line from the show but a video game as well! Coronation Street has penetrated other digital media; there are online games from Gala Bingo titled Coronation Street Bingo and Cash Cobbles that play on the popular branding. There have even been spin-off shows, crossover episodes and other media that have catapulted the show to national and international recognition.

That’s all well and good, but how has the show benefitted the local community and Manchester’s growth since the eighties? There’s no doubt about its impact at a local level; businesses in Manchester class the show as a client, from commercial law firm Kuits to Hancocks, who supply the sweets for The Kabin. However, if we stand back and look wider at Manchester, it’s easy to see how the show’s impact has benefitted the area.

Granada Studios, which made Coronation Street, opened in 1954 and are also credited with delivering World In Action, Sherlock Holmes and Stars In Their Eyes. That brought talent to Manchester, which might otherwise have settled in London. Today, Manchester has a digital, creative and tech sector built upon those early foundations. Tony Warren, the creator of Coronation Street, had a vision for telling the tales of Manchester, the real Manchester, and that resonated with viewers. He opened the gate for creatives in the north-west to do the same; Tony Wilson, Noel Gallagher and Caroline Aherne drew on their Manchester upbringing and were empowered to shout about it because Warren had done just that for years.

In placing Manchester in the spotlight, and when it moved from Quay Street to a state-of-art production facility at MediaCityUK, it opened doors for people not just to thrive from inside Manchester but to come here and create their media careers. Other cities, such as Liverpool, tried to find their niche with soaps such as Brookside, but it didn’t hit, unlike Coronation Street. At first, it sold Manchester as a gritty northern city, but later it helped shape it as a place of innovation.

Of course, the soap stars live and work in the area, which also brings a certain celebrity attraction. Manchester’s nightclubs and casinos are better for the presence of Coronation Street stars, who, over the years, have become ultra-famous. Tina O’Brien, Adam Ricketts, Michelle Keegan and Sam Robertson weren’t just stars of the show; they were fashion icons, heartthrobs and celebrities. They helped drive home the image of Manchester as a cool place, not just in terms of the culture it spawned, but the nightlife happening every weekend.

It’s not a bad impact for a soap originally commissioned for just 13 episodes in 1960, but long may it continue to help Manchester’s beacon shine brightly around the country.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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