Salford Lads Club has officially secured its future thanks to almost £50,000 of government funding.
Salford City Council has announced that the iconic youth club was successful in being awarded £47,800 from the Culture Recovery Fund that’s delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The announcement comes after the club lost an estimated £90,000 of income over the past two years through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Salford Lads Club has served the community since 1903, and is a voluntary led charity.
As well as running a number of sport and creative activities for local young people throughout the city and wider borough of Salford, the club is also home to an extensive archive the documents the lives of teenagers since the venue opened.
To celebrate receiving the worthy funding boost, Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett paid a visit to the club along with Project Manager Leslie Holmes, a number of volunteers, and local young people who are taking part in Foundation 92 activities over the Easter holidays.
“It is absolutely fantastic news that Salford Lads Clubs has secured this vital cash to keep them afloat,” Paul Dennett said.
“The club has been a part of the cultural heritage and fabric of the city for almost 120 years, and still provides a wide range of activities, particularly for young people in the local community.
“It’s also well loved internationally thanks to the iconic images of The Smiths outside the club, along with other musicians such as Tim Burgess, Peter Hook, Shaun Ryder and Clint Boon, who have helped to provide fundraising and promotional opportunities for the club nationally and internationally.
“Places such as Salford Lads Club do so much and we must remember the huge positive differences it makes in this city, especially after 12 years of budget cuts at the City Council.”
Look around brand new Coronation Street set as ITV unveils Weatherfield Precinct
The Coronation Street set has had a massive expansion, with a new Weatherfield Precinct unveiled today.
The location has often been name-checked in the popular soap, but for the first time, cast members will be able to film scenes there.
The set won’t hit our screens until 13 January – but The Manc headed down for a little sneak peek.
The two-storey Weatherfield Precinct set is built around a children’s play park, with a row of shops carefully constructed by the Coronation Street set designers.
There’s everything from a charity shop to a Chinese takeaway to a dessert bar.
Above the shops sits a row of maisonettes with a balcony running in front.
There’s incredible attention to detail throughout, from the litter on the floor (which includes a packet of a fictitious crisp brand) to the fake sausage rolls in the bakery windows to the washing lines nailed to the walls.
Everything has been deliberately weathered and aged, so it looks like it’s been there for decades rather than carefully built in 2022.
The new Weatherfield Precinct set was unveiled today by members of the cast including Jack P Shepherd, Sally Dynevor, Antony Cotton, Jimmi Harkishin, Daniel Brocklebank, Channique Sterling-Brown, Elle Mulvaney, Tanisha Gorey, James Craven and Colson Smith.
It’s been added as an extension to the existing iconic set, which spans 7.7 acres near MediaCityUK.
Producer Iain MacLeod said: “Hats off to our design and construction teams who have conjured a totally convincing new precinct for our drama! They took their inspiration from Salford’s many real-world, late 20th century shopping areas and what they have created is a brilliant, characterful space to tell a diverse range of stories.
“Expect to see teens hanging out at the dessert shop, families enjoying the play area and, after dark, a rogues’ gallery, up to shady business in the ginnels. I am really excited by the arrival on screen of this much discussed but never seen corner of the Weatherfield universe.”
Head of design Rosie Mullins explained the process: “Back in 2013 Coronation Street moved into its new home at Media City. With this move came exciting potential to continue to develop and expand our Weatherfield Community onsite.
“The first expansion came in the form of Victoria Street and Weatherfield Police Station builds back in 2018.
“In February 2021 I set about the first pencil drawings for a very exciting new exterior build – Weatherfield Precinct. We have often heard about this precinct and although we have filmed over the years at a range of shopping locations, we had never established our own Weatherfield Precinct.
“It had always intrigued me – what would it look like and who would we find there? The opportunity to bring to life a colourful and grittier area of Weatherfield was so exciting!
“Weatherfield Precinct was inspired by the 1960s shopping precincts that we see across many areas of the UK. In designing this the team gathered hundreds of images with a particular focus given to those in our local Manchester and Salford area. I wanted there to be aspects of the Precinct that people from all walks of life identify with and recognise. I wanted it to reflect how communities develop but aspects of them can also feel like stepping back in time.
“In this Precinct we find an array of businesses, a playground, residential flats, a small ginnel, Weatherfield community hub and a very colourful community recycling centre.
“Working with Iain on what the writing team needs from the Precinct has meant that we have managed to pack so much into this new set! I cannot wait to see the arrival onscreen of Sweety Nuff dessert & milkshake shop, Gregory Pope Foundation Charity Shop, Rutlands bakery, Pound Outlet and Bargainanza Pawnbrokers.
“The most incredible part of this has been watching this build rise from a small car park with a mass of ugly steel, concrete and timber to the beautifully constructed, characterful 1960s 2 storey precinct that we see today.
“This build has been one of the most enjoyable builds that we have undertaken and showcases the many behind the scenes talents that the programme has to offer. I am incredibly proud of the detail, the quality of the build and for what it offers for future storytelling for the show. I am also so very proud of how it was brought to life by our in-house talented Design Team.”
Featured image: The Manc Grop
Figen Murray, mother of Manchester Arena attack victim, awarded honorary doctorate for her tireless campaigning for venue security
Local hero Figen Murray OBE has been awarded an honorary doctorate degree for her tireless work to improve venue safety and security, after her son Martyn Hett was killed in the Manchester Arena attack.
Figen, a former counsellor, has since dedicated her life to counter-terrorism, completing a Master’s degree in the subject and regularly visiting schools, colleges and universities to try and instil kindness and tolerance.
The inspirational figure said that it’s an ‘incredible honour‘ to receive the honorary doctorate from the University of Salford.
She was awarded with the honorary degree for her work to improve venue safety as well as her support for students studying counselling and psychotherapy courses.
Since Martyn’s tragic death, Figen has been educating young people on post-traumatic growth, bereavement and loss.
On receiving her award, Figen said: “It is totally humbling to receive an honorary doctorate in recognition of some of the work I have done over the past few years. I am very overwhelmed and wish to thank Professor Margaret Rowe and the University of Salford for honouring me with it.
“I have been working tirelessly over the past four years to bring in legislation to keep the general public safe, working with the Home Office, and it is incredible to know that my efforts are being noticed by people outside of government, recognising how essential this legislation is.