Knowsley Council and the Royal Institute of British Architects have selected Mark Wray Architects and Seed Landscape as the winning team for the £500,000 Prescot Market Place competition.
Earlier this year, the RIBA competition invited design proposals to transform an unused area in the centre of the town. The brief asked teams to create a “landmark space” that will be well used by the public and can be enjoyed all year round.
Of the 45 entrants, five practices were invited to work up proposals in more detail, including Blackstaff Architects, Charles Tashima Architecture, OMI Architects, and Periscope Studio.
The competition to redesign Market Place is a project of the Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund. Overall, the initiative has invested £1.6m in the conservation and celebration of 10 historic buildings around Prescot.
The winning proposal from Mark Wray Architects and Seed Landscapes centres around a flexible space for a variety of community activities. The scheme will improve connections with Market Place and the site of the Shakespeare North Playhouse and St Mary’s Church. It includes proposals to light the area in the evening and provides places for people to sit and relax.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development said: “The final design really takes on board all the comments received during the public consultation and includes seating areas and space for a café, toilets and community groups and activities. It will be wonderful to see the area once it’s transformed and for local people to enjoy it.
“The chosen design also complements the other regeneration developments in the town including the Shakespeare North Playhouse and the multiplex cinema, so it’s a really exciting time for Prescot and will help to make the town an even more attractive, thriving place for visitors, residents and businesses.”
Construction work on the new look Market Place is expected to start in early 2018 with completion scheduled for early summer 2018.