30 Lower Byrom Street, Manchester M3 4PG | Status at Sep ’18: MINOR REFURB
In 1998, the Breeze Gardens and associated Breeze Studio were landscaped and built so that live indoor and outdoor programming could be broadcast on the Granada Breeze digital channel from a purpose-built studio.
The channel, which was operated by Granada Sky Broadcasting (a joint venture between Granada and Sky), ceased to exist in 2002, but the studio has since been used for a number of live productions including Destination Three – a BBC programme broadcast in 2005 – and some ITV Play broadcasts from April 2006 to March 2007. The gardens have also been used for filming a range of other programmes, including Coronation Street.
Original plans suggest that a ruined wall and pagoda would be included as features, however these no longer remain, if they were indeed ever erected. The studio is currently used as a marketing suite for the St. John’s development, which will replace much of the existing site.
Directly to the south of the gardens on the other side of Grape Street is an accumulator tower (c.1880), which contained the tank that was used to supply hydraulic power to machinery such as goods wagons and internal lifts within the former Liverpool Road goods yard (which, prior to being solely a goods yard, was the world’s first railway station). Water may have been pumped into the tank from the underground Manchester and Salford Junction Canal, which was used as an air-raid shelter during WWII. As the fastest growing city in the world in the 19th century, the Accumulator Tower’s function was key to Manchester’s development.