Home In focus Knowsley to benefit from Single Investment Fund

Knowsley to benefit from Single Investment Fund

by Gemma Melling

At last week’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority meeting, three projects designed and submitted by Knowsley Council were given the green light to go through to the next stage of the Single Investment Fund (SIF).

The three bids could result in investment of over £30m in the borough.

In addition, four projects in Knowsley (submitted by the private sector with the council’s support) have also got through to the next round of SIF, with a further two projects recommended to explore alternative European funding sources.

More than £450 is being invested into the City Region

In total, just over £458m of SIF funding is being invested in the City Region over the next five years by the Combined Authority as part of the City Region’s Devolution Agreement with the Government.  The SIF is the key funding tool for promoting economic growth for the Liverpool City Region, and will support the delivery of the City Region’s strategic priorities as well as unlock the economic potential and accelerate growth.

The three SIF bids submitted by Knowsley Council are:

  • The Shakespeare North Playhouse – The £6.5m funding bid is a contribution towards the £26m costs to construct and develop the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot town centre.  The Government has already supported the project by providing £5m of funding, with Knowsley Council also itself committing £6m to the project.  The new playhouse will stand just metres from the original site of the only freestanding purpose-built Elizabethan theatre outside of London. As well as being an exciting space to perform plays, the centre will be a magnet for students from all over the world hoping to study Shakespeare and his work.  Whilst recognising Prescot’s rich heritage, the development is expected to have a multitude of benefits for the town and the wider area. It is estimated that the theatre and education centre will deliver more than £10m worth of value to the local economy, as well as 210 construction jobs and 57 full-time jobs once the facility opens.
  • Sustainable access to Prescot and Shakespeare North Playhouse – This £6.46m project will include enhancements to the facilities at Prescot train station, including the installation of lifts from the platforms, public realm improvements at the station’s entrance, and remodeling of the car park.  Improvements will also be made to transport links and the public realm between the station and Prescot town centre, focusing on Eccleston Street, Market Place, Sewell Street, Manchester Road, Steley Way and Station Road Boulevard.
  • Housing development at South Whiston and on land south of the M62 – known as Halsnead, this development will be one of only 14 new Garden Villages across the country.  This is an exciting new opportunity for residential and employment development on a significant scale.  As demand for new homes in Knowsley continues to rise, Halsnead will be a key part of Knowsley Council’s ambitious growth plans for the borough.  As well as the £17.32m SIF funding, the project has also attracted funding from the Government.

Picture of Cllr Andy Moorhead, Leader of Knowsley Council
Knowsley Council’s Leader, Cllr Andy Moorhead, said:

“It is fantastic news not only that the quality of our bids been recognised, but also that Knowsley is clearly a great place to live, work, visit and invest.  With the support of the Single Investment Fund, we will be able to take forward a number of initiatives to accelerate economic growth in Knowsley and the wider Liverpool City Region.  I look forward to seeing these projects develop.”