In the week Coronation Street moves to hour long episodes and an 8pm time slot on ITV, the UK’s most watched soap unveils plans for an ambitious new exterior set build…..the Weatherfield Precinct.

The impressive two storey construction will feature maisonettes, a staircase and balcony leading to the properties, a piazza and an array of accessible local shops and units, which will enhance and extend the set based on the programme’s 7.7 acre site in Trafford, near Manchester.

The vision of Production Designer, Rosie Mullins-Hoyle, the development begins construction this week and will take six months to complete before the programme’s cast and crew can begin to film exciting new storylines.

“We are extremely excited to be starting to build Weatherfield Precinct this week after a year of technical drawings, model making, visualising and planning. An incredible amount of research has been carried out focussing on 1960s local architecture and we are striving to create an authentic area of Weatherfield with a grittier vibe to the existing street that we know and love.

As part of the wider Weatherfield community, the precinct has often cropped up in the soap’s dialogue with characters heading off to the parade of shops. The new set will afford scriptwriters the chance to make the most of the show’s broadening horizons, creating opportunities to explore storylines beyond the cobbles of Coronation Street itself.

Commented Coronation Street’s Series Producer, Iain MacLeod:

“The fabled Weatherfield Precinct has been much discussed, but little seen on the show in our 61 years, and I am really excited to be expanding the Coronation Street universe. The plans for the shopping area are drawn directly from the real-world Salford environs that inspired the show’s creator Tony Warren and exemplify the authenticity and ambition we still prize as we move to hour-long episodes this week.”

Located on the Manchester Ship Canal and directly opposite MediaCityUK, the Coronation Street production facility became the programme’s new home in 2014, and ever since the soap has continued to expand and invest in the site. 

Coronation Street continues Wednesday March 9 at 8pm on ITV.