Home Business and economy Exciting opportunity for a new operator in Prescot Town Centre

Exciting opportunity for a new operator in Prescot Town Centre

by Guy Murphy

Knowsley Council is inviting expressions of interest from potential leaseholders for the soon to be refurbished Grade II listed building, Cockpit House.

The attractive 18th-century building provides a unique opportunity for an imaginative and dynamic organisation to be part of the ongoing regeneration of Prescot Town Centre and reinvent the property as an exciting new visitor destination.

Set over three floors, the traditional Georgian building retains a number of original features including staircase and chimney breast. Other features of interest including two bank vaults, plaster cornices and timber window shutters.

Cockpit House is about to undergo a £0.5m refurbishment to sensitively repair and restore the building externally, funded via the High Street Heritage Action Zone. Work is due to be complete in early 2024.

Perfectly located, the site backs on to the award-winning Shakespeare North Playhouse and is within walking distance of the thriving pedestrianised high street.

Given its location, this building is ideally suited to a tenant operating within the cultural,  creative or leisure industries, with a vision for a vibrant and active building, with some areas open to the public.

Applicants will need to demonstrate their ability to ensure delivery of imaginative high quality, sustainable development that demonstrates financial viability, and is appropriate to the transformational nature of the opportunity and the surrounding proposals.

Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “We have a vision of establishing a long-term cultural infrastructure in Prescot and we have already had huge success with the Shakespeare North Playhouse and the resulting wider significant economic growth in the town.

“The refurbished Cockpit House provides another unique opportunity for a visitor destination and that is why we are seeking an operator who can transform this historic building into a thriving creative space for the public to enjoy.”

How to Apply

Expression of Interest submissions should be made directly to Knowsley Council’s Major Development Team by email: major.developments@knowsley.gov.uk (Reference: Cockpit House EOI).

You can view the full brochure here: Cockpit House Leaseholder EOI Brief (1).

Interested parties will need to submit a proposal no later than 10am on 9 October 2023.

History of Cockpit House

Cockpit House was built in 1774, as a particularly large and grand local example of a town house in what was one of the higher status areas of Prescot on the fringe of a medieval town. The building was converted from a house into a bank in 1869, with the ground floor converted to a banking hall with two large walk-in safes and the upper floors used as the offices and staff accommodation. Later uses include the Prescot Museum, and offices for Shakespeare North Trust.