A new wayfinding scheme has been introduced in Prescot town centre.
A family of new fingerposts and monoliths have been installed across the town as part of a wider connectivity strategy which saw bespoke inner gateway signs installed last year and will see new distinct pieces of public art marking outer gateways installed later this year.
This comprehensive wayfinding scheme is being implemented ahead of the opening of The Shakespeare North Playhouse in 2022, when thousands of new visitors are expected to visit the town every year. It is a key part of the council’s overall ambition to transform the town centre and to make it an even more attractive and welcoming place for local residents and visitors.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development said:
“This is a really important piece of work for Prescot town centre. We know that thousands of new visitors are expected when the Playhouse opens, and we want people to know where they are and how to get to where they are going. This is also about animating the history, heritage and culture of Prescot in a new way.
There is a lot of work that goes into directional signage, connecting to transport links, areas of interest, historical landmarks or buildings. These new signs will really help visitors find their way around and also help local residents and visitors find out a bit more about the town of Prescot.
What is really exciting about the signs is the designs. There is a great mixture of Prescot’s history, Shakespeare quotes and historical photos of the town. This all contributes towards something really unique to Prescot and unlike any other area.”
About the wayfinding signage
The unique family of signage includes 10 monoliths and 11 fingerposts which reflect the heritage of Prescot and the importance of the town on the world’s stage. They are located at key points around Prescot town centre to help people navigate their way to and from key areas and places, including the railway station, Prospero Place bus station, The Shakespeare North Playhouse, Market Place, Leyland Street, Eccleston Street, Cables Retail Park and at public car parks.
The fingerposts provide directional signage while the monoliths display visual maps of the town centre along with historical photographs. All of the wayfinding signs feature quotes from William Shakespeare, recognising his relevance to the town and the new Shakespeare North Playhouse currently under construction. And of an evening, when many people may visit the theatre, the signs will also be lit.
About the designs
The wayfinding strategy was inspired by both the historic context of the town and its current regeneration. It helps support Prescot’s uniqueness and provides not only a clear route throughout the town but also helps create a craft specialism approach to a wayfinding strategy that is different to any other town.
The concepts for the designs of the monoliths and fingerposts were developed by artist Simon Watkinson and designed and created by TrueForm.
Archival photographs are imaginatively integrated into the monoliths that help provide the historical context, so the wayfinding not only creates a map of what is currently here but also what has been here in the past.
The wayfinding take inspiration from Prescot’s rich industrial heritage, where during the 18th and 19th centuries it was at the centre of the watch and clock making industry, along with cable manufacturing into the 20th Century.
Of an evening, the monoliths and the fingerposts will be lit which not only helps with the wayfinding, but also animates the monoliths. As one of the first towns ever to have electric lighting, related to the BICC factory, the lighting of the wayfinding also celebrates this historical achievement of the town.
The signs are funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority the Local Growth Fund as part of the £8 million wider Shakespeare North Rail Interchange scheme. This also includes the public realm improvements at Eccleston Street, the illumination of St Mary’s Church, the construction of lift shafts at Prescot railway station, as well as resurfacing the station car park.
Local Growth Funding is awarded to the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and invested through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.
Local Growth Fund
Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.