Go-ahead for Shakespeare College & Theatre in Prescot

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

A planning application for the building of a Shakespearean theatre and educational facility in Prescot town centre has been successful.


Knowsley Council’s Planning Committee granted planning permission for the proposed complex, which has already received local and national government support to the tune of £11 million.

If the £26m build goes ahead, it will include a 350-seat period theatre, similar to London’s Globe, and a college dedicated to William Shakespeare and the importance of Elizabethan theatre in the region. Schoolchildren, local residents and post-graduate students would be among those to benefit from the educational facility.

Shakespeare_North_Elizabethan_theatre_college_Prescot copy

Prescot was chosen because it was once the site of the late 17th-century Prescot Playhouse – the first and perhaps most important freestanding theatre outside London.

The Fifth Earl of Derby, whose family seat to this day is Knowsley Hall in Prescot, was among the Bard’s rich patrons.

If fundraising is successful, Shakespeare North hope to be able to open the facility in 2019. Where the Prescot Playhouse stood near the east end of Eccleston Street, the earmarked site for the new theatre and college is on the current Mill Street Car Park, between the Old Mill pub and Prescot Bus Station.

Pictured: Shakespeare North supporters and actors from MATE Productions celebrate the successful planning application at Knowsley Council HQ in Huyton yesterday (Thursday 21 April).


  1. Stephen

    Friday, April 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Good for Prescot that this is coming but building where a car park is? And where will visitors park then?

  2. Caroline Carmichael

    Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 11:31 pm

    Don’t worry about parking issues…the Shakespearian Theatre is so Wonderful for Prescot and Knowsley …so ..park and ride ? Walk a bit ? ..who is going to argue that a car park is more important than a Shakespearian theatre for Prescot? ..?

  3. Trevor colluney

    Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 2:07 am

    Lived in the old watchmaker in the High St in the mid 60’s taught at Knowsley Woolfall and Prescott Grammar. We managed to persuade Alan Bleasdale to help our school work on that Scottish play –great news for Prescott — lovely historical town
    Trevor Colluney

    • Anne Clare

      Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 11:48 pm

      The spelling is Prescot not Prescott and I belive that the school was a Grammer school rather than a Grammar. And you TAUGHT there??????

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