International design competition launched for Prescot public realm

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched an international design competition for Prescot's historic Market Place.

Prescot Market Square. Image: RIBA
Prescot Market Square. Image: RIBA

The public realm was the centre of economic and social life of the town for almost 700 years but now needs refreshing.

Architect-led firms are asked to submit digital designs anonymously to the first stage of the competition, which has been organised in partnership with Knowsley Council with Heritage Lottery Fund support.

Five concept designs will then be shortlisted to participate in the second phase.  Euan Macdonald from Hawkins/Brown is fulfilling the role of architect adviser.

Prescot has a rich and varied history and its industrial past includes coal mining, pottery and watch making and it is home to many historic buildings with quality architectural features.

Over the past four years the ambitious Prescot Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) has invested £1.6 million to conserve these historic buildings and spaces and the town’s past and has levered in over £400,000 of private investment. To date, 10 buildings in Prescot town centre have been, or are being, repaired and restored to their former glory. The redesign of Market Place is the single biggest project of the THI. 

Executive director (Place) Knowsley Council John Flaherty said: "The Prescot THI is a fantastic initiative and is literally changing the face of Prescot. The redesign of Market Place will create a vibrant special space in the town centre which will complement other amazing developments in the town including the new Shakespeare North Playhouse and Cinema making Prescot even more attractive to visitors, residents and businesses."

The deadline for receipt of Phase 1 submissions is 2pm on June 8.

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