Inside, the theatre has been designed in the Jacobean 'cockpit-in-court' style. Credit: Kier

Kier hands over Shakespeare North Playhouse

The contractor has completed work on the £27m Prescot theatre.

The playhouse, described as the first of its kind in the Liverpool city region, was handed over to Knowsley Council last week.

Designed by Helm Architecture, it was procured through the North West Construction Hub framework, with work starting in early 2020.

The Playhouse includes a flexible theatre with capacity for between 320 and 472 seats, based on the 17th century ‘cockpit-in-court’ design. It also includes a digital gallery, visitor centre, additional performance spaces including an outdoor performance garden, coffee shop and office space.

The theatre is built from reclaimed hardwood, designed and crafted by hand. Thanks to the use of a flywheel energy storage system, power requirements on site were reduced, with 40% less fuel consumed than had been expected.

Sean Fenner, regional director at Kier Construction North & Scotland, said: “Working alongside our local supply chain partners, Kier has utilised its technical skill as well as trialled sustainable innovations to deliver a modern, accessible and energy efficient building.”

Melanie Lewis, chief executive of Shakespeare North Playhouse Trust, said: “Shakespeare North Playhouse is an incredibly unique architectural project. Kier have been exemplary in their understanding of the specific nuances required and their collaborative nature was exactly what was needed on a project with this level of historical reference.”

Mott MacDonald is the structural engineer and Arup the theatre consultant. Auston Smith Lord is the project’s executive architect.

Further projects by Kier in the sector include Chester’s Storyhouse, which opened in 2017.

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Hats off to Lord Derby for championing this venture, it`s a nationally famous institution and must mean a massive uplift for Prescot , which has some lovely old buildings and streets but these need an upgrade, also the nearby pubs etc need to adapt to provide better fayre than at present to cater for a more discerning customer.

By Anonymous

Hope it works but I have doubts about the location

By George

Can someone explain the Shakespeare connection again please?

By To be or not to be (in Prescot)?

When Shakespeare’s plays were forced out of London, the then Prescot Playhouse performed them.

The resurrection of the Elizabethan theatre replete with Lord derby connection, is as close to authentic as anything could be outside Stratford itself.

Naturally it should be in Manchester, however, right?

By Jeff

Fantastic for Liverpool

By Anonymous

Already booked into a few events. Great to see Prescot’s High Street providing the quality of venues to support pre- and post-concert dinners, too. Regeneration in action. Well done to all concerned.

By Sceptical

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