Regular readers of this blog or our Twitter account or Knowsley News or local news (or even the architectural press and landscape press) will know about the plans afoot to completely remodel the public open space at Market Place.
The winning design for Market Place: an open space ringed by greenery. Terraced seating overlooking a multi-use space. The site ‘anchored’ and overlooked by a combined café and meeting place.
We held the design competition for the space over Summer this year and the winning design team of Mark Wray Architects and Seed Landscape Design has been working up their design in detail and repeatedly visiting Prescot and Market Place. The planning application for the re-vamp is currently being considered by the Council.
One of the many plans and drawings submitted as part of the planning application. This one is the floor plan of the proposed café / meeting place.
We are now seeking the tenant for the building. We have set up a dedicated website to advertise this unique opportunity.
It is unlike a normal tenancy in that we are inviting you to suggest a rent and length of tenancy. However, we are looking for a tenant who can prove they can bring the building and space to life by offering a high quality food and drink provision in the building AND be able to ensure that the building and site host activities, events and performances so that Market Place is once again a busy place.
In other words, while the building will function day to day as a cafe or coffee shop and place to meet, we want it to be much more than this. We are seeking someone with the skills and experience of successfully organising and running a programme of events and activities.
This can include weekly or monthly ‘regulars’ like hosting craft days or meetings but also special events like outdoor performances, seasonal markets and exhibitions. We would like the building to be open into the evening and on weekends – the improvements include a high quality lighting scheme. We would like the space to be part of the town’s big events like the Prescot Festival, Shakespeare performances and Elizabethan Fayre.
We are particularly interested in how the tenant will bring people into Market Place, day-round, week-round and year-round. For this reason in selecting a tenant we will give more weight to your ability to bring the building and space to life than the pounds and pence paid in rent.
We are interested to hear from commercial businesses with a community focus as well as social enterprises, community investment companies and charities.
The building itself will be of high quality, being architect designed and meeting the requirements of the Heritage Lottery Fund in terms of building quality, materials and detail. The first tenant will also have the opportunity to influence the fit-out and furnishing of the building by working with us and our design team.
In-spire-ing neighbour: Market Place and Prescot Parish Church
We expect the building and public realm works to be completed by June / July 2018 and we want a tenant who can be open for business from day one with a programme of activities and events ready to roll.
The site itself is of course a stone’s throw away from the front door of the Shakespeare North Playhouse which is scheduled to start construction next year. It on a planned route linking Prescot’s train station, Cables Retail Park and town centre with the Shakespeare North Playhouse . The site is also at the threshold of the much-improved and well-maintained churchyard of the Grade I Listed Prescot Parish Church.
The Shakespeare North Playhouse, the £26 million, 350-seat neighbour of our Market Place site.
We hope the improved building and public open space offer a tremendous opportunity in a superb location at a fantastic time for the regeneration of Prescot. We just need some marvellous people to take on the site and ensure they reach their enormous potential.
The website for applications is here. It contains the application form, our contact details and more about Prescot and this unique opportunity.
The deadline for applications is 12 January 2018.