High Street Culture
Find out what’s coming up in our four-year programme of cultural activity across England's High Streets Heritage Action Zones, continuing until 2024.
Building on the momentum of the Shakespeare North Playhouse development and Knowsley’s role in Liverpool’s Borough of Culture status for 2022, historic buildings in Prescot will be brought back into use for leisure, retail and cultural activities.
Prescot was a market town known as 'a town of workshops' because of its diverse commercial activities that included all stages of watchmaking, pottery, coal mining and tool making. This diversity meant that for a long time it didn't rely on mass employers, until the 20th century when thousands were employed in wire and cable works and hundreds more employed in two separate printworks.
Prescot's High Street Heritage Action Zone focuses on Market Place, for centuries the commercial heart of the town, and home to its most important civic functions: the town hall, court leet and market hall. This area's commercial and civic decline date as far back as the second half of the 19th century, though the loss of the cable and printing industries caused substantial economic decline and the 1960s saw extensive demolition within the town.
Today the area has high vacancy rates and not enough to offer those visiting nearby attractions such as Knowsley Safari Park.
With £1.5 million of government funding, delivered through Historic England, the project seeks to bring the Kemble Street cinema back into use as well as restoring the old Prescot Museum on Church Street.
Prescot will capitalise on this momentum with community engagement projects built around local priorities for health, wellbeing and social inclusion, ultimately establishing itself as a cultural hub and leisure destination.
Below you can find just some of the progress being made in the Prescot High Street Heritage Action Zone. For more, follow us on Twitter @HistoricEngland.
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