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Original Coronation Street set could reopen to visitors

Te original set of Manchester-based soap opera Coronation Street could open to the public as a temporary visitor attraction for six months next year, allowing visitors to explore the street used in the ITV programme. The traditional set is located on the

Granada site, close to the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester’s city cen- tre. A new set where the soap is now filmed is located in MediaCityUK. Te attraction is expected to open from

March to September next year as a tem- porary ‘reveal’. It is not clear whether this will be a farewell period for the show’s famous set, or a tester to see whether the attraction garners enough inter- est to become a more permanent feature. Details:

Merlin stock price valued at £3.2bn

Merlin Entertainments has been priced near the top end of trading expec- tations – at £3.2bn – as the attractions company made its debut on the London Stock Exchange. Private equity own-

ers Blackstone and CVC both sold a portion of their shares, as did Danish group Kirkbi, which also owns the Lego and Legoland trade- marks, as well as having a 75 per cent holding in the Lego Group. Te offering of 30 per cent

of Merlin’s shares raised an initial £957m with trading starting at 315p. Te share price shot up 6 per cent in conditional dealings. It has been reported that retail investors

picked up 12.5 per cent of the shares, while unconditional dealings took place several days later. Shareholders in the business are also able

to receive a 30 per cent discount on either two adult Merlin annual passes, or one Merlin annual pass to use for a family.

Te scheme aims to boost tourism in local areas

Historic Scotland makes £10m available for historic areas

The latest round of Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funding has been announced. Applications for the £10m in funding will

open early in the new year with a closing date of 31 August 2014. It is open to local and national park authorities, community groups and other third sector organisations delivering multi-funded projects. CARS has invested £26m in projects across

Scotland since 2007 and has attracted three times as much in match funding. It specifically targets conservation areas with social and eco- nomic disadvantages which make it difficult to attract investment in sustainable regeneration. Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External

Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “CARS is instru- mental in stimulating economic growth through new employment opportunities and promoting traditional skills, as well as boost- ing the local tourism industry.” An independent analysis into Historic

Scotland, recently showed that its finan- cial support generated an additional £166m of investment between 2007 and 2012. Details:

12 Alton Towers is part of the Merlin portfolio valued at around £3.2bn Kirkbi has retained a significant holding in

the business, with its stake standing just under 30 per cent, while Blackstone held 22.6 per cent and CVC 13.1 per cent when trading started. Last year Merlin created revenues of

more than £1bn, with the company operat- ing 99 attractions in 22 different countries, which saw 54 million visitors in 2012 alone. Details:

Royal Academy of Arts gets £12.7m in funding

The Royal Academy of Arts has moved a step closer to beginning its £36m Burlington Gardens redevel- opment project, with designs created by David Chipperfield Architects, having been granted £12.7m by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Te development will see the link-

ing of 6 Burlington Gardens with the nearby Burlington House, to create a centre capable of housing contempo- rary art shows, a debating chamber and space to display artistic treasures. Plans by the architects suggest a

Te project will create an arts campus of just over two acres in London

corridor and stairs will be inserted through the academy’s schools to create the link, with Reveal, Celebrate and Explore project, a scheme which will culminate with a wide range of events celebrating the RA’s rich 250 year history and heritage and will creating an arts campus of just over two acres. Te premises at Burlington Gardens will then

become a Royal Academy space hosting galleries for contemporary exhibitions, a lecture theatre and a 300-seat debating chamber. Te space will also be able to cater for confer-

ences and film showings, as well as offering its own education area and space to showcase the

Read Leisure Opportunities online:

Royal Academy’s permanent collection of artis- tic exhibits. The front north façade of the Burlington

Gardens building will receive a restoration, as will the building’s internal features, generating conser- vation apprenticeships, new jobs and opportunities for heritage trainees. Te Royal Academy has so far raised £29m

for the project, which includes HLF funding and money acquired through trusts, foundations and individual contributors, with a further £7m still required to meet the full cost of the project. Details:

Twitter: @leisureopps © CYBERTREK 2013

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