A proposed Shakespearean theatre in Prescot has moved a step closer to reality after receiving financial backing from councillors.
Knowsley Council has agreed to invest £6m in the project, known as Shakespeare North.
Plans for a 350-seat theatre and educational centre will now be considered at a planning committee meeting on April 21.
Leader of Knowsley Council Andy Moorhead said: “This is a project of a significant scale, with a potentially transformational effect on Prescot, Knowsley and the wider Liverpool City Region.
“While the proposals still need to gain the necessary planning approval, it would appear to be very much in the interests of local people and businesses to do what we can to make sure the development happens.
“It would put Prescot on the map internationally as an important visitor attraction, and would, in turn, be a huge boost not only to Knowsley but also to the wider Liverpool City Region.”
Knowsley Council estimates that the project would deliver over £10m of value to the local economy, while increasing spending in the area by almost £1.5m each year.
The project is also expected to create 210 construction jobs, and 57 full-time roles once the theatre opens.
The proposals have been backed in Parliament by David Cameron and Culture Secretary Ed Vaizey, as well as MP for Knowsley George Howarth.