Bid to transform Prescot’s market

Prescot's Market Place is the latest in section of the historic town set to undergo development. Work is set to start on a Shakespearian theatre venue in 2018
Prescot's Market Place is the latest in section of the historic town set to undergo development. Work is set to start on a Shakespearian theatre venue in 2018

An ambitious design project to bring Prescot’s historic Market Place into the 21st century has been launched.

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has set-up the international design competition for the historic space which was once the centre of economic and social life of the town for almost 700 years.

Organised in partnership with Knowsley Council and the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the first phase of the competition will require architect-led teams to submit designs anonymously, in digital format only.

Five concept designs will then be shortlisted to participate in the second phase. Euan Macdonald from Hawkins/Brown is fulfilling the role of Architect Adviser.

Prescot is one of Merseyside’s most historic market towns and is perfectly positioned between the bigger cities of Liverpool and Manchester.

The town has a rich and varied history and its industrial past includes coal mining, pottery and watch making and it is home to many historic buildings with quality architectural features.

Over the past four years the ambitious Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has invested £1.6million in the conservation and celebration of these historic buildings, spaces and the town’s past and has levered in over £400,000 of private investment.

To date, ten buildings in Prescot town centre have been, or are being, repaired and restored to their former glory.

The redesign of Market Place is the single biggest project of the THI and will therefore have a considerable impact on the look, feel and function of Prescot Town Centre.

John Flaherty, Executive Director (Place), Knowsley Council said: “The Prescot THI is a fantastic initiative and is literally changing the face of Prescot.

“The redesign of Market Place will create a vibrant special space in the town centre which will complement other amazing developments in the town including the new Shakespeare North Playhouse and Cinema making Prescot even more attractive to visitors, residents and businesses.”

The initiative is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Knowsley Council and other local partners.