Grape Street, Manchester M3 3JE | Status at Jun ’19: CONVERTED
Originally known as the Charles Street Warehouse, this six-storey building was constructed between 1867 and 1869 as a replacement for two London & North Western Railway cotton stores that were destroyed by a fire in 1866. These buildings were used for the loading, unloading and temporary storage of freight travelling in and out of the Liverpool Road Goods Station, with first floor access for trains provided by three tracks and turntables inside.
The basement/lower ground floor of the warehouse was used as ‘bonded stores’, with flour and general foods stored on the ground and first floors, cotton on the second, and flour and grain on the upper two floors. Tobacco was also stored on the second to fourth floors.
During the last decade of the 19th century, following the renaming of the adjacent street, the warehouse was renamed the Grape Street Bonded Warehouse, and stables, stalls and harnessing rooms for working horses were also built beside it (see The Stables).
The warehouse remained operational until 1975 and was soon after acquired by Granada, who converted it into studios, sets and offices in around 1982, with the basement/lower ground and ground floor levels adapted for parts of the Granada Studios Tour in 1988-9. There were various rides and attractions present, including a Downing Street set – complete with a guarding police officer – which was also used in a number of TV productions, including The New Statesman (also see Starlight Theatre).
It is thought that from 2007 onwards, the Bonded Warehouse was used primarily as additional office space for ITV Granada (see Administration Block).
A small hut, thought to be a later addition, was attached to the north-west corner of the building and was also once used by the Granada Studios Tour, although was present prior to this.