Shakespeare North

Shakespeare North transport interchange gets £8m funding

Knowsley Council is set to formally sign off £8.2m to begin major public realm improvements and upgrades around Prescot train station along with walking and cycling routes to the £26m Shakespeare North theatre.

The project is intended to provide better links to the £26m Shakespeare North, which is currently being built by contractor Kier. The 350-seat, 30,000 sq ft Jacobean court-style theatre also includes a study centre, education, and exhibition space.

The Shakespeare North transport interchange is set to transform the area around the railway station and features a shared-use walking and cycling route from the station to the town centre and on to the theatre.

It also includes a remodelled car park to up the number of spaces from 38 to 48; the additional of lifts to provide step-free access to the station and platforms; and better wayfinding and signage to direct visitors to the town centre and towards Knowsley Safari Park.

Funding has come from the Liverpool City Region’s Strategic Investment Fund to the tune of £7.9m; the majority of this will be drawn down between 2019 and 2021. There is also a local contribution of £186,000 to take the total funding package up to nearly £8.2m.

The contractors attached to the scheme are Tarmac and SSE; the two contractors will deliver all the public realm works, while Network Rail will deliver the new lifts and station access. Knowsley Council is set to sign off the funding at a meeting next week.

Kier is set to complete the theatre by December 2020, after beating rival bidders Morgan Sindall and Wates to the job last year; the public realm works are likely to complete around the same time.

The theatre has been backed by £5m from the Government, which was first announced by then-chancellor George Osborne in May 2016. The council is also providing £6m towards the scheme, with the remainder coming from a £14m contribution from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Single Investment Fund.

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Great stuff happening in Prescot. Well done Knowsley Council

By Know what I mean

White elephant

By Shakey

This will do well with the local schools and colleges.

By Anonymous

This will generally ‘do well’ on its own merit. Went to Prescot recently to check out the new Gary Usher place and it’s deffo on the up. It’s got a M&S now and lots of new houses, bars and restaurants popping up too. The place just needs a better PR push and people to actually go there before being negative.

By Liv and let Liv

Prescot is one of the oldest towns in Liverpool City Region and the only place outside London with an indoor theatre in the Elizabethan period. Shakespeare’s sojourns in Lancashire, mainly Rufford, Lathom, and Knowsley will be well commemorated by Shakespeare North through theatre and learning. Lord Strange was the son of the Earl of Derby, and references Strange’s Men abound in Shakespeare’s plays. Some of the plays, amongst them ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ are almost certainly connected to Knowsley Hall.

By Roscoe

Great for Prescot and LCR, area is improving which is nice to see!

By LCR

Would be great to see this whole development take off. Prescot has the greatest potential of any part of Knowsley.

By Mark Gilbertson

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