Plans to create a northern Shakespearean theatre on Merseyside where the Bard’s plays can be performed and studied have been submitted.
The £19m 350-seat Shakespeare North Playhouse is planned for Prescot, where the first Elizabethian indoor theatre outside of London was built.
It will be built alongside a new international university college focusing on Shakespearean drama. Among the project’s patrons are Vanessa Redgrave and Dame Helen Mirren.
The Shakespeare Trust hopes a combination of public finance and private donors will pay for the project.
Shakespearean scholar and trust member Prof Kathy Dacre said: “The plans are now submitted and it is very exciting.”
She said it was also hoped that the project will help the regeneration of the Knowsley area, which was named one of the most deprived in England in 2015.
The theatre will be built based on designs for The Cockpit in Whitehall drawn by Inigo Jones in 1629.