Knowsley Council Pledge £6m for Prescot Theatre & College

By on Thursday, March 10, 2016

cockpit_theatre_royal_inigo_jonesKnowsley Council have announced they will invest £6 million in an Elizabethan theatre and study centre in Prescot.

Council Leader Cllr Andy Moorhead said the complex has the potential to “deliver over £10m worth of value to the local economy, as well as 210 construction jobs and 57 full-time jobs once the facility opens.”

He added that it would “also provide enormous educational and cultural opportunities for local people.”

Independent charity Shakespeare North is behind the project, which aims to complete the ‘Shakespearean Triangle’ through links with the playwright’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon with the Globe Theatre, in London, where many of the Bard’s plays were first performed.

shakespeare_north_theatre_prescotThe college would be the only one of its kind in the country, focusing on Elizabethan theatre and Shakespearean acting technique.

The town was chosen because in the late 16th century, it was the site of the Prescot Playhouse, the first and possibly most important freestanding theatre outside London. The nearby Earl of Derby was one of Shakespeare’s rich patrons.

“It would put Prescot on the map internationally as an important visitor attraction,” said Cllr Moorhead, “and would, in turn, be a huge boost not only to Knowsley but also to the wider Liverpool City Region.”

The cash comes from a £25.6 million investment package put aside in 2015 for priority projects to enhance town centres in the borough.

Plans have been submitted and are pending a decision in April 2016.

Pictured: The theatre would follow this design by Tudor architect Inigo Jones

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