KIER Construction Ltd has been awarded the main construction contract to complete the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot.

Kier has been involved in the project since January 2018 when they were appointed to support the design process and deliver the initial enabling works on site. With this work now completed, this latest decision gives the green light for the main construction of the theatre to commence in January 2020 – marking another significant milestone for the development.

Ian Tabbron, Interim Chief Executive, Shakespeare North Playhouse said: “Awarding the contract to Kier is yet another positive sign of progress in our journey to complete the UK’s Shakespearean triangle in Prescot.

“The vision to create the Shakespeare North Playhouse has been many years in the making and moving into this exciting phase of major construction is a significant achievement.

“The sense of anticipation in the area is tangible and it will be wonderful to see this project start to come out of the ground early in the new year.”

When complete the Shakespeare North Playhouse will provide a 350 seat theatre, modelled on the cockpit-in-court design of the 17th century. There will also be an outdoor performance garden, exhibition and visitor centre and education facilities.

Initial enabling works have already been completed on site and the off-site specialist construction of the historic timber framed theatre is also well underway manufactured by Peter McCurdy, a world renowned creator of historic theatre including the Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Theatre.

It is expected that the construction work on The Shakespeare North Playhouse will be completed in spring 2022 and first performances scheduled to take place in the summer to coincide with Knowsley’s year as the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture.

Peter Commins, Managing Director of Kier Construction Ltd, added: “We are delighted to be involved in this project and to be part of team that will deliver a major cultural asset for the north of England. Working on a development as high profile and prestigious as this is an absolute honour and I know I speak for the entire team when I say that we are excited to be able to complete the work we have started here and see this wonderful building come to life.”