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Shakespeare North Playhouse Prescot

Partnership work scoops Local Government Chronicle Award

by Gemma Melling

Knowsley Council and the Shakespeare North Trust scooped the Public/Private Partnership Award at this year’s Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards, which took place on Wednesday 12 June 2024.

The LGC Awards identify, celebrate, and help to spread the finest examples of innovation and quality delivered by councils across the United Kingdom.  The annual event is the biggest celebration of excellence in local government.

The submission for the Public/Private Partnership Award was based on the hugely effective partnership between the Council and the Shakespeare North Trust in delivering and operating the iconic cultural venue in Prescot Town Centre – Shakespeare North Playhouse.

The project served as a catalyst for the transformation of Prescot into a cultural destination with a burgeoning evening economy.  A shared infectious enthusiasm for the project led to partners, investors, and celebrity supporters joining the transformation journey.

The Playhouse is now attracting thousands of people into Prescot, new businesses are opening in the town, an engaging cultural programme is being delivered, and hundreds of jobs have been created to boost the local economy.

Mike Harden, Chief Executive at Knowsley Council, said:

“I’m extremely proud that the Council and the Shakespeare North Trust have together won this prestigious LGC Award.


“Our vision for the Playhouse quickly gained local and national support and our achievements in Prescot are truly remarkable.  This excellent work in Prescot is now regularly being recognised as an example of what can become possible when a Council works well alongside other organisations.


“I’m pleased once again to have had our excellent work recognised nationally.”

Max Steinberg CBE, Chair of the Shakespeare North Trust added:

“I am absolutely delighted that we have picked up this award and that our work with the Council has been recognised on a national stage.


“From the very outset of our partnership, the Council’s commitment and passion for this project was abundantly obvious. Their support and sheer hard work meant that, together, we could deliver something quite remarkable not just for the town of Prescot but for local people.


“I personally want to thank the Council for their collaboration and for the many hours of time and expertise provided by Members and Officers in creating this world class cultural venue.”

Melanie Lewis, Chief Executive at Shakespeare North Playhouse, added:

“I am delighted that our partnership working has been recognised through the LGC Public/Private Partnership Award.


Working together, we turned a vision into reality.


The Shakespeare North Trust and Knowsley Council have together delivered a Playhouse for everyone – it’s a key asset in the local community, with a diverse offer to reflect local needs.”