Shakespeare North Confirms Key Appointments in Prescot Theatre Bid
The Prescot Playhouse is a step closer to construction, following the appointment of architects and engineers to work on the project.
Shakespeare North plan to build an educational complex, with a 350-seat Elizabethan cockpit theatre (pictured) at its heart, on Mill Street in Prescot town centre.
Helm Architecture has been appointed as the lead architect, with Austin-Smith: Lord LLB as the supporting architect.
Other key appointments include AECOM Ltd, who will provide mechanical and electrical engineering services as well as cost consultancy, alongside Mott MacDonald Ltd, who will provide structural engineering services.
Shakespeare Theatre Commemorates Prescot History
The project commemorates the 17th-century Prescot Playhouse, which once stood at the east end of Eccleston Street, where the flat iron building is now. It was the first purpose-built theatre outside London.
William Shakespeare counted Prescot’s Earl of Derby among his rich patrons. The Shakespeare North Trust’s mammoth arts and educational project aims to link the North West with Stratford-upon-Avon and the Globe Theatre, London, as part of England’s ‘Shakespearean Triangle.’
Educational First for Prescot (and the UK)
The new centre will be the only higher education college in the country dedicated to teaching Shakespearean performance technique, but it is also expected to be a centre of arts, culture and education for the local community and schoolchildren across the country.
Knowsley Council are already working to secure a hotel and other leisure and entertainment facilities in Prescot to complement the expected influx of national and international visitors to the theatre.
Building Work Dependent on Funds
The playhouse was given the go-ahead in April 2016, having secured £6 million in funding from Knowsley Council and a further £5 million from the Government.
The estimated price tag is upwards of £19 million, and the estimated start time for the building has been put back to September 2017 after an original expected date of December 2016.
Cllr Mike Murphy, Knowsley Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said the latest appointments were “a significant milestone in the development of the playhouse.”
Shakespeare North Chair Peter Scott added that the charity’s “vision to have a playhouse in Prescot began 12 years ago,” saying the trust were “delighted at the support and interest” they’d received.
For more information, visit shakespearenorth.org.