Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Sunday 8 January 2023

Weatherfield Precinct Exclusive! - A Behind The Scenes Look at Corrie’s New Set

Do not adjust your television sets! January 2023 marks a new era in Coronation Street history as the fabled Weatherfield Precinct arrives on our screen. It's an exciting new piece of Corrie's history, I’m sure you’ll agree. As the show enters its 63rd year, how brilliant it is to start this new year with such an exciting new development! 

As you may have seen from recent tweets, the Coronation Street Blog was invited to the grand opening of this new set at the beginning of December. With an abundance of Weatherfield Precinct images on my new smartphone and that weird Christmas / New Year break, I thought to share some exclusive behind-the-scenes pictures with you lot!

Sit back, get a brew, maybe even a peace cake, and enjoy our behind-the-scenes photos, facts, unseen bits, and exclusive cast chat!

Welcome to Weatherfield Precinct!

My Weatherfield Precinct story starts on November 16th of 2022, with an email from our editor Glenda, asking me to 'save the date’ for this top-secret studio visit/press event. I was standing having a vape outside work, so I managed to keep my excitement top-secret, although I still couldn't believe it. I did the fan Corrie Tour experience in April - they showed us where the new set extension would be (that itself was no secret) It was essentially a building-site-come-car park with little evidence of any building work or construction in progress. Fast-forward 8 months, and I’m heading out to see the completed set as a media guest of my all-time favourite TV show - lucky or what? 

December 1st was soon upon me, and I met fellow Corrie blogger Sophie Williams, and eastieoakes writer Darren Hilbert, outside Manchester's ITV Corrie studios to see this exclusive launch. When the clock struck 12 we were ready to enter the world of Weatherfield. With no idea of where we were going, we were soon on the set of Weatherfield Police station inside the set itself! for a quick brew before heading outside to the precinct's grand opening. 

If you are unsure of the studio / Weatherfield world layout, check out this map made by Corrie blog contributor Ben @gaddasisbadass showing the precinct location; 


This blog post is about the Weatherfield Precinct but I thought I’d post these to give you an idea of the incredible attention to detail behind the scenes. I guess, in this HD era, they need to, but still ridiculously realistic. I also bought a new smartphone for the occasion so it would be rude not to!

            I took these images in the cop shop. (L) is front desk (R) is the sign inside the main door 

The staircase we see in the police station is real, and rather than it leading to a jail setting, it actually leads up to the Chariot Square hotel set, where various cast interviews took place during this day. Stood outside the cop shop for a vape break, we saw David Platt walk past, said hello to Daniel Osbourne, and I gawped at the gorgeous Daisy Midgeley (she is tiny!) before we headed upstairs to the hotel set to interview Ty and Fiz about the wedding build-up! No photos are allowed on that set but we did meet Alan and Jennie (who play the newlyweds) who walked on set, just as Sophie and I stood at the door, which was surreal!

Should you fancy, you can read that interview here 


Before the grand opening, a few cast members (who were available for interviews on the new set) assembled and walked over before we visitors were ushered around. Dev must have been busy filming, we didn't get a chat with him, but still great to see one of my favourite cast members in real life! Was he looking at me taking this shot? I guess we will never know! 

Should you want to see my video of this moment, click this link   On a re-watch, you can see Sally Dynevor (Sally Metcalfe) being interviewed over my shoulder! 

You can see from the photo above that this is a two-storey building built using the steelwork on the back of the Victoria Street set. All were built without interrupting filming, and the shop windows, doors, and businesses were made offsite in the construction workshop and fitted onsite. Several props on this new set are from the prop stores and may have been featured in older episodes filmed on the original Granada Studios lot! It's one of several environmentally sustainable tricks the team used to build the set. I've got a few more nuggets like that are still to come - do read on; 

To read more about the construction of Weatherfield Precinct - click this link 

To watch an exclusive Corrie Blog youtube video from the balcony (at the press day) - click this link


The shops are an exciting development in themself, but discovering there’s a block of maisonettes above them, was another real highlight of this set visit. The balcony steps which lead to them were repurposed from the original Underworld factory set and reclad in black slips. The flats themselves do look ‘lived in’ which suggests to me that we either (a) will have one or two of our characters moving in, and/or, (b) some new characters could be introduced. The balcony is easily accessible for filming, and we had a good walk around it, so I expect some panoramic camera shots from that height advantage! The maisonettes have a front entrance that looks like this; 


Rutlands Bakery 

You can just see the bakery, which sits to the right of the upper-storey entrance door, in the image above. This is one of the shops that are just a frontage, and the treats in the window looked good enough to eat (spoiler alert - they aren't real - this is to avoid food waste). 

Pound Outlet - Just a frontage to this shop but there looks to be a small and accessible front door, which I didn't try to access, that could certainly fool viewers. A pound outlet certainly fits in with the current economic climate. I imagine Ches and Gemma visiting here with Bernie. 

Peking Order

Also worth noting (although not mentioned in the press release) is that we have this takeaway sitting next to this discount shop. Maybe it’s a takeaway that closed, as the ‘R’ has fallen off the shop sign and the pound shop is using the shopfront for stock space! I imagine this is the set equivalent of ‘Tattoo'll Do Nicely’ it's seen but not mentioned. 

That attention to detail is what does it for me.  I can't reiterate that enough, alongside the use of such a  small space -it's TV magic!

Sweety Nuff - My second favourite shop on this new set. This particular set is accessible and open (just like Prima Doner on Victoria Street), and we sat outside it for a photo opportunity. Also worth mentioning here is ‘Claude’ the ice cream-loving french bulldog (left-hand side of the shop entrance) who was specially commissioned and made just for the show! Again, the sweet treats in the window do look real, but they are not. 


Bargainanza Pawnbrokers (r/h side of the charity shop)

Do you remember Barlow’s Buys from a few years ago? Maybe Tracy could have a hand in this new shop? I'm guessing Daisy’s stolen engagement ring will turn up here? This particular shop seems to be a facade, but, the charity shop, and Sweety Nuff, are accessible so I guess we will have a few exciting camera shots to look forward to and maybe a few new sets on the show. I think this shop is just a facade too, but don't quote me on that! You can also see the lighting here, which I sure will help with night shoots!

Gregory Pope Foundation Charity Shop  - This is a wonderful-looking addition to the show, and as someone who regularly frequents charity shops, I can tell you that this is my favourite and it looks very realistic. We very nearly hit the Corrie fourth wall at one point, as I spotted a novel by Jonathan Harvey, on the book stand outside. 

As we know, Jonathan is a writer for the show! A deliberate set design joke, or not, I found that very funny. Let's keep an eye out to see if we can spot it on the show! Corrie did tell us that Evelyn and Roy shall be volunteering here, so I would guess this is the shop that makes its screen debut first. 

I did have a sneaky look into the charity shop window around the front shop entrance, and it also has a conveniently placed ginnel and side window to the set, which you can see here ;

I can easily envisage some new Corrie idents using that side window. You read it here first! Also, we've a new ginnel! Is it for moody crime shots or something more light-hearted? Sticking my head around the ginnel corner, to the right of this set, I saw a door to Trim Up North, which is obviously around the other side of the building. 

As I say, the use of space is unbelievable, and just like the filming outside the studio's main entrance (to depict the prison entrance), this new set will be undoubtedly used for several different scenes/as a set double/and will save on those locations' shoots. I'm guessing this will be an addition to the Corrie Tour in the not-too-distant future, so you can see for yourselves, but the attention to detail can't be praised highly enough! Once built, the Corrie team aged and weathered the set to make it look like it's been there since the 1960s. As someone who lives on a working-class council estate, I can tell you that the effect is realistic alright!-it looks grim. 

This leads me to the space in front of the shops themselves, which is a new children's playground. 


I think Corrie has been missing one of these for a few years, maybe it’s an after-thought from Victoria Gardens / Seb’s memorial, who knows, but it's a worthwhile addition. I sat on one of the swings (out of shot here) and then noticed these bins; 

Again, I point you to the incredible attention to detail depicting Weatherfield council’s coat of arms. One of these bins even had a bit of graffiti on it! Colson Smith (Craig Tinker) told us that the production team sprayed the tarmac with water, just to see where puddles would land. I guess this is a visual thing, and I found that fascinating. You can read that interview here


As a motif of Corrie's (latter-day) set design, we do have a few new murals on this set too (you can see one on the playground), and in keeping with Craig’s ‘Maddie’ design, its colourful graffiti is depicted in a similar style. Corrie PR told us that the community recycling centre is being used to promote recycling on-screen and this was painted using leftover paint from previous sets! I imagine the recycle bins will be used by environmentally conscious residents such as Spider, Toyah, and Sally, and maybe Stephen Ried will have a new place to brood or murder!


This set appears to be just a standing facade, and possibly a fictional extension of the Victoria Street community centre. Either way, it works as a modern set-piece addition to the show and could add another local venue for Mary’s am-dram plays, or Griff’s right-wing ramblings? 

Our visit to Weatherfield Precinct marked the set's official opening and no filming had taken place! We were told that filming would commence the following week, which leads us to its on-screen debut later this month.


Viewing the new set, meeting some more cast, and AAA on the Coronation Street studio lot itself! December 1st 2022 was a Corrie trip that will forever be seared in my memory. One of the first fans EVER to be on that set. Thanks again to our wonderful editor Glenda (praise be!!), my co-blogger on this trip, Sophie Williams, and the brilliant Coronation Street Press Team. 

We've got a lot to look forward to going into 2023 and I'm sure (Corrie creator) Tony Warren, would have loved this extension to the wider Weatherfield world. 

I’ll be sure to add a few more pictures to Twitter soon, so keep following me @rybaxoxo and Corrie blog for all your latest Coronation Street developments. 

All original work on Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


Anonymous said...

Wonderful, thank you for amazing reports, I really love reading them, your insights and behind the scene scoops. Thank you for taking the time and I very much look forward to the extended set!

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a read. Really lovely to sit down with me cuppa and finish it before I finish reading on this blog! Thank you for sharing your experience. More of this please!


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