Confirmation of a £5 million funding boost for Knowsley’s Shakespeare North Playhouse has been hailed a “huge seal of approval and vote of confidence”.
Arts Council England finalised the contribution, which was pledged by the Chancellor in the May 2016 budget, yesterday (10 May).
John Flaherty, executive director of place at Knowsley Council, says: “This is a fantastic achievement and a key milestone for Shakespeare North Trust and Knowsley Council. Not only does it mean we now have £11m of confirmed funding, but it is also a huge seal of approval and vote of confidence from the Arts Council that the Shakespeare theatre and education centre is a viable and sustainable business.
“It will also strengthen the Outline Business Case submission to the Combined Authority Single Investment Fund to secure a further £6.5m funding towards the development.”
Construction of the new 300-seat Jacobean court style theatre is expected to get underway in Prescot in January 2018, and forms part of a wider regeneration masterplan for the area.
It will be the only example of a Jacobean theatre outside London’s Globe and will complete the Shakespearian triangle of Stratford Upon Avon, London and Prescot.
Knowsley Council has been working alongside the Shakespeare North Trust to progress the project.