PRESCOT has seen a number of new developments and businesses launch in 2022.

The town and its surrounding areas has had some high-profile openings in recent times – including the opening last year of the Shakespeare in the North Playhouse.

Here is a look at some of the developments which launched or were approved over the past year:

Shakespeare North Playhouse

Shakespere North

Shakespere North

The theatre is home to a beautiful 17th-century style, timber-built "Cockpit" theatre, the only one outside London, and is able to seat 450 spectators.

It was built entirely during the pandemic thanks to public funds and donations.

The venue also features a modern site, with an outdoor performance garden funded by the Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation, exhibition gallery, 60-seater studio theatre for smaller performances, a learning centre, events spaces, a café, bar and outdoor piazza.

Shakespeare North Playhouse is inspired by Prescot’s historic connections to William Shakespeare and a love of storytelling.

Shakespeare Norfth Playhouse

Shakespeare Norfth Playhouse

In the 1590s, a remarkable theatre stood in the town and hosted performances made possible by the Earl of Derby, resident at Knowsley Hall.

It is thought that it was the only purpose-built indoor playhouse outside of London, and players brought with them new shows from a certain popular playwright of the day, William Shakespeare.

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Meanwhile, planning officers and the Knowsley borough’s planning committee has also seen its share of applications to rule on during the last year, including in Prescot.

New Aldi

A new Aldi in Prescot has been approved Picture: Knowsley Council Planning Portal

A new Aldi in Prescot has been approved Picture: Knowsley Council Planning Portal

In 2022 Prescot also saw plans for a new Aldi approved despite a battle with Tesco, who objected to the store being opened near to its own. The supermarket giant was branded a “cheek” by one councillor after it complained the store could have a negative impact on the town.

Numerous councillors spoke in favour of the plans, including Cllr Denise Taylor who described the discount supermarket as a “win win for Prescot.”

Knowsley Business Park

Meanwhile, nearby Knowsley Business Park saw some developments approved, including a film production studio transforming a 2,300sq m former office space into a full studio complete with green screen area and photography studio.

Also at Knowsley business park, plans were approved in December for a HGV training bootcamp.

Filling a training gap amid an ongoing driver skills shortage, the project will bring a long vacant unit back into use, according to officers – bringing jobs and opportunities to the borough.

Incinerator in Simonswood

The incinerator has been approved in Simonswood

The incinerator has been approved in Simonswood

One of the most controversial actually sits on the borough’s border and was not a decision for Knowsley Council to make.

Plans for a medical waste incinerator near Kirkby, but in Simonwsood, Lancashire has provoked fury since being submitted to Lancashire Council last year.

In a move that angered senior councillors and local residents alike, the incinerator, which has the capacity to burn tonnes of medical waste per day, was approved at the end of 2022 – although appeals are already in process against the decision.