Shakespeare development to attract people from ‘all over the world’

18th October 2018

Construction will commence on the landmark cultural project Shakespeare North early next year as it targets completion in 2020.

It should now be a case of All’s Well That Ends Well for the scheme, which has been in the planning for more than 20 years. Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, told an audience at property event MIPIM UK the development was “not just a local scheme but it is on behalf of the nation”.

The development is recreating The Playhouse in Prescot, which was the only purpose-built playhouse outside London in Elizabethan times. The area also has historic links to the Earls of Derby and Lord Strange’s men, with strong evidence that William Shakespeare performed and wrote plays in Lancashire before finding fame in London.

When complete, Shakespeare North will house a 350-seat theatre, performance studio, exhibition and education centre, coffee shop and office space. Rotheram said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for Prescot, Knowsley and Liverpool City Region – and for UK plc. “We are certain that people will come from all over the world to Prescot.”

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority approved £14m funding in June for the Shakespeare North Playhouse and rail interchange project. Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:

“We believe in this project. The cultural benefits are huge, the economic benefits are really important to us. We believe that culture can be used for inclusive economic growth.”

Kier was appointed as contractor at the start of this year, which coincided with it completing the Storyhouse project in Chester and has enabled some members of that team to move across to the Shakespeare North scheme. The technical design, stage four, began in January and enabling works should begin “early next year”.

Completion is scheduled for the 2020. Bob Adams, director for Kier Construction Northern’s Liverpool region, said: “We believe this project will drive Knowsley regeneration as a cultural destination. “The visitor economy will create jobs and growth. It will be a magnet for cruiseliner passengers to come to Knowsley and Prescot.

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18th October 2018