Knowsley Council has appointed Arup as its theatre consultant for the Shakespeare North project, in a contract worth £249,220 to the engineering and design group.
Plans to build a £26m Shakespeare North Playhouse and education centre in Prescot were approved by Knowsley in April 2016. In November, Helm Architecture was appointed as lead architect for the scheme, with Austin-Smith: Lord as supporting architect. Mott MacDonald is to provide structural engineering services. AECOM will provide M&E engineering and cost consultancy services and has also been appointed as acoustics consultant.
The centrepiece of the facility will be a 350-seat theatre. It is intended that Shakespeare North becomes the tip of a cultural triangle linking the site – which sits metres from Prescot’s former Elizabethan playhouse, at the time the only indoor playhouse in the North of England – to the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Stratford site and the Globe Theatre in London.
Construction could start in September 2017, funding permitted. Knowsley Council committed £6m to the project in March 2016, with then-Chancellor George Osborne promising £5m from government in the 2016 Budget.
Images by Forbes Massie courtesy of Helm Architecture