There is a new addition to the Prescot skyline as a huge 190ft high crane has been installed on the site of the Shakespeare North Playhouse.
The crane is integral to the construction of this landmark development which will create a unique visitor attraction and theatre in the heart of Prescot town centre.
When complete, the Playhouse, modelled on the cockpit-in-court design of the 17th century, will complete a ‘Shakespearean Triangle’ – London, Stratford-Upon-Avon and Prescot. It will also provide cradle to grave learning opportunities, an outdoor performance garden, ‘black box’ studio, an exhibition centre and visitor attraction.
On site for 65 weeks, the crane will be doing some heavy lifting, including the main steel roof trusses for the building, each weighing close to 10 tons.
Cllr Graham Morgan, Leader of Knowsley Council said:
“It’s amazing to see the crane on site. It’s a really visible and significant sign that the Shakespeare North Playhouse is happening. Kier Construction are on site and we will now see this magnificent building coming out of the ground. It’s a really exciting time for everyone involved because now we are starting to see this once in a lifetime opportunity coming to life.”
The Shakespeare North Playhouse celebrates the history and heritage of Prescot and the area’s links to Shakespeare. Alongside high profile Shakespearean drama, the Playhouse will host a variety of comedy, music and theatre performances.
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said:
“The Liverpool City Region is the country’s culture capital and we’re investing in projects like Shakespeare North to make sure we stay the best. The new playhouse will offer so many opportunities to the area – new jobs, more visitors and a fantastic resource for local schools. I can’t wait until it opens so it’s fantastic to see the crane on site as construction really steps up!”
The majority of the funding for the Shakespeare North Playhouse project is coming from Knowsley Council with support from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and central Government. Alongside this, more than £1 million of philanthropic funding has been secured, including a major contribution from the Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation Trust.
The Playhouse has attracted support from some well-known names from the world of theatre and the arts, including Sir Ken Dodd, who will have a performance garden created in his memory and acclaimed actress and Dame Judi Dench.
The opening of the theatre in 2022 will coincide with Knowsley’s year as Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture.
You can follow all the developments related to the Shakespeare North Playhouse at www.shakespearenorthplayhouse.co.uk, where you’ll also find out how you can get involved and give your support to this exciting, once in a generation project.