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12 March 2018, 15:04 | Updated: 12 March 2018, 15:15
Coronation Street have paid their own special tribute to Manchester Arena Attack victim Martyn Hett who was a massive fan of the soap.
ITV have also unveiled Victoria Street, the new extended exterior set of Coronation Street.
For years the area surrounding the terraced houses, Rovers Return, corner shop, cafe and newsagents has existed only in the viewers’ imagination, but from May fans will be able see what life is like beyond the cobbles of Britain’s most famous street.
Months of planning and building has resulted in a fantastic new retail area complete with shops, eateries, an urban garden, Weatherfield North tram stop and a police station.
A specially commissioned, mosaic covered, memorial bench will have pride of place in the urban garden in memory of Coronation Street superfan Martyn Hett, and all those who lost their lives in the Manchester Arena bomb in May 2017. Martyn’s family were the first people to see the new set last week during a private visit and are present at the unveiling today.
In a nod to the soap’s 57 year history the road on the new set is made from cobbles reclaimed from the old Quay Street site which was home to the residents of Coronation Street from 1982 to 2013
‘Wider Weatherfield’ will be seen on screen for the first time on Friday 20th April.
A continuation of the 1999 addition of Victoria Street, which is home to the kebab shop, Roys Rolls, Community Centre, Victoria Court and the builders yard, the new set took over three years to develop from original drawings to completion.
The entire area has been aged to look as though it has been there for as long as Coronation Street and Rosamund Street.
With the show now transmitting six episodes a week the new set gives more filming options on the Trafford Wharf Road site, reducing to some degree the need to go out on location.
Product placement deals mean that for the first time real retail outlets will be represented on the set in the shape of Costa Coffee and a Co-op.
Round the corner from the main area is a modern two storey police station which will eventually have a reception, cells, corridors and interview rooms. A Nuttalls brewery building houses a production construction workshop, utilising the large interior space.
Kate Oates, Series Producer, said: “The Victoria Street extension represents an exciting chapter in Corrie history: an amazing new stage, full of dramatic potential. Our amazingly talented design team have created everything from scratch - but it still manages to have the feeling of always having been there, just around the corner.”