Knowsley Council to invest £6 million into Shakespearean theatre

Published on: Thursday, 10-March-2016

A proposed Shakespearean educational theatre in Prescot is to be given financial backing from Knowsley Council.

Councillors have agreed to a £6 million investment to help make the project become reality and the plans are now scheduled to be considered at a Planning Committee on April 21. 
Cllr Andy Moorhead, Leader of the Council said: “This is a project of a significant scale, with a potentially transformational effect on Prescot, Knowsley and the wider Liverpool City Region.
“While the proposals still need to gain the necessary planning approval, it would appear to be very much in the interests of local people and businesses to do what we can to make sure the development happens.  That’s why we have agreed a financial contribution from the Council to help to deliver this exciting project. 
“In return for our investment, we anticipate that the scheme will 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.  The theatre will also increase spending in the area by almost £1.5m each year.  And, of course, it will also provide enormous educational and cultural opportunities for local people.
Shakespeare plans
“It would put Prescot on the map internationally as an important visitor attraction, and would, in turn, be a huge boost not only to Knowsley but also to the wider Liverpool City Region.”
In July, Knowsley Council announced a £25.6million package of investment into Knowsley through reallocation of some council cash reserves, expected income and some ‘invest to save’ borrowing.  The £6 million investment in Shakespeare North will be allocated from the package specifically set aside for priority projects including those with the potential to improve and enhance town centres. 

The proposals by the Shakespeare North Trust include plans for the creation of a 350-seater theatre and education centre in Prescot.  The full application can be viewed online – search reference number: 15/00838/FUL

The proposals have recently been backed in Parliament by local MP George Howarth, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and Prime Minister David Cameron.