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Prescot to be Photographed in High Streets Cultural Programme

Prescot will be captured on camera as part of Historic England’s four-year cultural programme centred around the High Street’s Heritage Action Zone initiative.

A photographer in residence will be commissioned to take images of Prescot town centre for the Picturing England’s High Streets strand of the multi-million pound programme.

The town is one of only six places in the country chosen to be involved in the national project, one element of the High Street Cultural Programme being run by Historic England in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England.

Prescot was designated a High Street Heritage Action Zone in 2020. The £95m initiative, funded by DCMS, a Ministry of Housing fund and Heritage Lottery, aims to ‘unlock the potential’ of 68 high streets across England, fuelling their economic, social and cultural recovery.

Other zones include Ormskirk, Oswestry, Redruth, Blackpool, Brierley Hill and Barnsley.

In Prescot, the £3.1 million heritage-led regeneration programme will see major investment in a number of projects from Knowsley Borough Council and Historic England.

These includes the repair, restoration and conversion of Prescot’s first cinema - including its surviving auditorium from 1912 - and the transformation of the former Prescot Museum, a grade II listed townhouse, into a ‘makerspace’ for new and small businesses in creative, arts and digital sectors.

Above: Prescot's landmark 'flatiron' building. Top: 34 Church Street

Meanwhile the £7.4m cultural programme is made up of national commissions and a local grants programme.

Picturing England’s High Streets will create a contemporary portrait of Prescot from now until 2024.

Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration & Economic Development, said: “It’s another great boost for Prescot to be chosen to take part in this exciting project. The next three years and beyond will be so important for the town.

“Alongside the opening of the Shakespeare North Playhouse, we also hope to see many more businesses and visitors coming into the town. To be able to visually capture some of these major moments will be wonderful and to be able to have a visual record of our high street, for current and future generations, is fantastic.”

The national photography project is being delivered by Photoworks in partnership with photography organisations nationally, with Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery Gallery delivering with local partners in Prescot.

Open Eye Gallery director Sarah Fisher added: “We’re delighted communities in Prescot will be able to draw upon the expertise of a photographer over the next three years to create images that are meaningful to them.

“Local people are the heart of England’s high streets and their voice is essential in a project that represents such an iconic town with a rich heritage and vibrant cultural future.”

Shakespeare North Playhouse is due to open in 2022 which is also Knowsley Borough of Culture year.


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