Granada Television has hit back at claims that it is scaling down its Manchester operation after it was revealed that it is planning to move out of its historic Quay Street building into a warehouse on the same site.

Granada Television has hit back at claims that it is scaling down its Manchester operation after it was revealed that it is planning to move out of its historic Quay Street building into a warehouse on the same site.

The proposed move from the building, which gave the Beatles their first television performance and also hosted Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh, has been seen by critics as a plan to make further cutbacks in the regions. Others view the plans as a step towards further centralisation in London.

But Granada has strenuously denied that the move pre-empts any calling down of its activities in the city. A spokeswoman added that the move will not result in significant job losses.

The plan is to totally refurbish the 'bonded-warehouse' building into a state-of-the-art production centre, which lies behind the famous Quay Street base and then move into it. Manchester based Red Productions are currently based in the warehouse where Granada already has offices.

One source said: 'I will still be parking my car in the same place and you can actually walk through the old building into the bonded warehouse. The Quay Street building is now out of date.'

A Granada source said that the move might mean less people but that there were not expected to be large scale cuts in the move. One said: 'This idea is a glint in Brenda Smith's eye, it is far from being a done deal.'