The Shakespeare North Playhouse in Knowsley is another step closer, with key appointments to help turn the playhouse into a reality, now confirmed.
This follows Knowsley Council’s Planning Committee in April, where plans to create a Shakespearean theatre and education centre in the heart of Prescot were given the green light.
Helm Architecture has been appointed as the lead architect, with Austin-Smith: Lord LLB as the supporting architect. Other key appointments include AECOM Ltd, who will provide mechanical and electrical engineering services and well as cost consultancy, alongside Mott MacDonald Ltd who will provide structural engineering services.
Cllr Mike Murphy, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said:
“Securing these key appointments is a significant milestone in the development of the playhouse, which reiterates our commitment to delivering a playhouse in Prescot.
“We look forward to working with Helm Architecture, Austin-Smith: Lord LLB, AECOM Ltd and Mott MacDonald Ltd, and their experienced teams, to deliver this exciting project.”
The Shakespeare North Playhouse in Knowsley will not only be a place where actors, writers and students will be able to study and practice the plays of Shakespeare, it will be the only actor training programme in the UK in relation to Shakespearean performance practice.
The playhouse will seat 350 people for theatre performances, as well as creating a college and education establishment for students to learn the life and works of Shakespeare.
It is expected to attract thousands of visitors and students – from a local, national and international perspective – to the area. The playhouse will also complete the Shakespearean triangle of Stratford upon Avon, London and Knowsley.
Subject to funding, construction on the new playhouse is due to commence in September 2017.
Peter Scott, Chair of Shakespeare North Trust added:
“Our vision to have a playhouse in Prescot began 12 years ago and we’re delighted at the support and interest we have received in turning this vision into a reality.
“These key appointments will help us to recreate a Shakespearean theatre in Knowsley – which was home to the only freestanding purpose-built Elizabethan era theatre outside of London.”