Thousands of people visited Prescot town centre at the weekend (Saturday 10 June) to celebrate this year’s Elizabethan Fayre.
The sun shone on Prescot as the town’s Elizabethan heritage was brought to life. Audiences were treated to performances by bubble fairies, fire dancers, choirs and theatre shows.
Human size bees, William Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth 1 and Sir Walter Riley walked the streets amid Elizabethan music, a Tudor village, artisan stalls, jesters and stilt walkers.
The community came together in the afternoon for a Fools and Fairies parade which made its way down Eccleston street to applause and dancing in the bars and restaurants.
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for regeneration and Economic Development commented: “It was wonderful to see so many people in Prescot town centre and enjoying everything the Elizabethan Fayre had to offer. There was a really good energy and community spirit as people got involved. And the main high street was bustling with the market, theatre performances and people enjoying the wonderful cafes, bars, restaurants, and shops.”
Prescot’s history is quite remarkable – in Elizabethan times it was the only place in the whole of the country, aside from London, to have a free-standing purpose-built theatre. Today it is home to Shakespeare North Playhouse, a new theatre and cultural venue in the heart of the town inspired by William Shakespeare and his love of storytelling.
The FREE fayre is a popular date in Knowsley’s events calendar, with plenty for everyone to enjoy.
Prescot Cultural Consortium
Plans for Prescot’s Elizabethan Fayre have been developed by the Prescot Cultural Consortium which is chaired by Shakespeare North Playhouse and includes representatives from Prescot Business Club, Knowsley Community Curators, Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts, Prescot Parish Church, Jan Williams Theatre School, Imaginarium Theatre, Prescot Museum, Knowsley Council and Act for Action. Producer, Laura Orchard, has led on the plans with the Cultural Consortium.
The Cultural Consortium was set up by Knowsley Council as part of the £3.1 million Prescot High Street Heritage Action Zone scheme, and the HSHAZ’s Cultural Programme, which is led by Historic England, in partnership with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Cultural Programme aims to make the country’s high streets more attractive, engaging and vibrant places for people to live, work and spend time.
The enhanced Elizabethan Fayre is being funded via the HSHAZ Cultural Programme Local Grant under which Knowsley Council were awarded £80,000 in 2020, on behalf on the Prescot Cultural Consortium.
Prescot High Street Heritage Action Zone
Prescot was selected as one of the 68 high streets to benefit from the High Street Heritage Action Zone project in 2020.
In Prescot, the £3.1 million heritage-led regeneration programme will see major investment from Knowsley Council and Historic England into a number of key projects. This includes the repair and restoration of the Grade II listed former Prescot Picture Palace cinema, the transformation of a Grade II Listed townhouse (formerly Prescot Museum) into a ‘makerspace’ for new and small businesses in creative, arts and digital sectors.
In addition, the funding will be used to provide grants to restore other historic buildings, transform public realm and engage with the local community.