Coronation Street chooses Modern concrete tiles

Roofing manufacturer Marley Eternit has played a part in transforming one of the most famous roofscapes in the UK.  The new Coronation Street lot in Trafford has been built by ITV and international consultancy and construction company Mace as a direct replica of the original lot in the city centre, yet on a larger scale to accommodate the demands of high definition TV.

While some small features have changed, the producers of Coronation Street have faithfully recreated most of the street as part of the two and a half year construction project, even down to the smallest details such as cobbles and roof tiles.  Therefore selecting the right building materials was a vital and time consuming part of the scheme. 

While many of the roof tiles on the terraced houses had to come from salvage to retain the authentic aged appearance, architectural consultants Jenkins Design Services specified Marley Eternit’s Modern concrete tiles to replicate the contemporary pyramid roof on the Underworld factory’s iconic brick tower.  

Adrian Bleasdale, ITV Project Leader, explained “The Coronation Street project started several years before we even broke ground at the Trafford Wharf Road site.   Materials were being sourced in 2008 from all over the UK and Europe and this continued well into 2013.  Sourcing the right product was essential as Weatherfield had to look and feel the same, down to the smallest detail. It's been great to see that the reaction to the completed project from cast, crew and visitors alike has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Bill Jenkins, from Jenkins Design Services, comments: “Getting the right materials for the project was so important that we actually started sourcing them two to three years before Mace started the construction work.  We diligently catalogued all of the building materials on the old set and sourced like for like replacements to make sure nearly every detail was the same.  We specified the Marley Modern tiles for the Underworld building because they best replicated the original pyramid roof.”

Simon Hall, project manager from Mace, adds: “The Marley Modern tiles were used on the Underworld building as it is one of the modern properties on the street.  The replication element of the Coronation Street project was perhaps the most challenging aspect from a quality management and materials selection perspective.  We were trying to recreate an old street, which is probably the most iconic in Britain, with both new and reclaimed materials.

“Once the roof tiles and other materials had been sourced, they were sampled by Mace and its trade contractors to get sections of buildings, roofs, windows, doors and cobbles constructed, scenically aged and signed off by Coronation Street production. This sampling work enabled Mace to get agreement that the end result would match the existing film lot and they could move forward with the construction.  The new set was completed in December 2013 and the cast and crew moved to their new home in January this year.” 

Gavin White, product manager at Marley Eternit, comments: “Even though our tiles have only been used on a small part of the set, it still makes us proud to see our products on Coronation Street and to have been involved in such an iconic construction project.  In our 90 year history, we have provided billions of roof tiles for houses and buildings in streets all over the UK but this is certainly the most famous roof we have helped to build.”

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