Updates, information and more from around the Knowsley region. Business expansions, new developments and exciting new projects helping to shape Knowsley – we want to know all about it.
Knowsley Council approves East Halewood masterplan
The council has signed off a plan to build 1,500 homes on 200 acres between Halewood and Everton FC’s Finch Farm training ground.
Knowsley businesses come together to support the community during Coronavirus crisis
Work starts on Prescot train station improvements
Kirkby town centre redevelopment prepares for next phase despite pandemic
First look at £90,000 artwork to mark gateways into Prescot
Jaguar Land Rover announces it is to restart production at its Knowsley plant on 8 June
Jaguar Land Rover to offer plug-in hybrid technology in models produced in Knowsley
Jaguar to install plug-in hybrid technology into the two vehicles it produces at the Halewood facility in Knowsley.
Shakespeare North Playhouse appoints new Chair
Max Steinberg has been appointed as the new chair of the board overseeing the creation of the UK’s third Shakespearean theatre. Max has led the Playhouse’s Development Committee for the past 12 months and is a trustee of the Shakespeare North Trust.
Knowsley Business Park expansion approved
Planning consent has been granted for a 100,000 sq ft industrial development made up of 15 units on the six-acre site at Lees Road, at the entrance to Knowsley Business Park. The project will consist of five units totalling 23,000 sq ft and a 44,000 sq ft self-storage unit. Three trade counter units, four retail units, a drive-through café and a food kiosk complete the scheme.
Ground breaks on Kirkby’s town centre retail development
GMI Construction has started work on behalf of Knowsley Council to create a 45,000 sq ft Morrisons, petrol station, car park, 20,000 sq ft Home Bargains and a KFC in the town centre’s 12 acre site.
Work begins on Shakespeare North Playhouse
A 58-metre-tall crane has been installed on the site of the Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot as main construction work begins on the £27m project.
Westminster welcome for Shakespeare North Playhouse
Prominent politicians and leading lights from the world of theatre and the arts, including Dame Judy Dench, gathered to lend their support to Knowsley’s new Shakespeare North Playhouse at an event held in Parliament.
Knowsley energy company helping Africa’s drive for clean energy
Clarke Energy were visited by International Development Minister Andrew Murrison and praised for work in supporting Africa’s drive for clean energy, helping the continent’s businesses to reduce carbon emissions.
Knowsley-made Evoque boosts sales for JLR
Rising sales of the Merseyside-produced Range Rover Evoque are driving a recovery at carmaker Jaguar Land Rover who ended a tough year with a surge in retail sales in December.
Plans for a car dealership and industrial unit in Knowsley approved
Hatfields Jaguar Land Rover’s 50,000 sq ft car dealership in Huyton will include a showroom, offices and an MOT workshop and a 58,000 sq ft industrial unit off Acornfield Road has been approved for Kirkby.
Prescot’s newest bistro, Imaginarium has opened just in time for Christmas
Prescot has welcomed another new addition to its growing leisure offering in the town centre just in time for Christmas.
Kirkby lines up £15m regeneration boost
Liverpool City Region is to invest £10m and a potential further £5m in the long-awaited regeneration of Kirkby town centre.
Knowsley Council appoints New River to Kirkby project
NewRiver REIT has been appointed by Knowsley Council as asset manager of Kirkby town centre, the 225,000 sq ft site bought from St Modwen last month for £44m
Land deal paves way for Acorn Farm expansion
Kirkby’s popular urban farm is set to expand with the construction of a new visitors centre, paddocks, and additional parking, following the agreement of a land swap with Knowsley Council.
Knowsley’s Clarke Energy acquires Boston Co-Energy America
Energy specialist Clarke Energy is expanding its global footprint with the acquisition of a US-based heat and power firm
Latest on LFC’s £50m new Kirkby training facility
9,200 square metre centre in Kirkby will be a facility that will house both Liverpool first-team stars and the club’s Academy talent.
Knowsley and St Modwen complete £44m Kirkby deal
Knowsley Council and the developer have agreed a deal to transfer 87 shops and 12.4 acres of land into council ownership in what is claimed to be the local authority’s largest-ever property investment.
Construction firm and completion date revealed for Shakespeare North Playhouse
Kier Construction Ltd will carry out the landmark Merseyside scheme, which when complete will provide a 350-seat theatre, modelled on the cockpit-in-court design of the 17th century
January start for Shakespeare North
Knowsley Council has awarded Kier Construction the main contract to complete the £26m Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot.
Prescot’s historical connection to William Shakespeare
Five fascinating links between Shakespeare, The Earls of Derby and the town of Prescot
Incredible growth in Knowsley’s economy sees borough shortlisted for national award
Knowsley Council has been named a finalist in the 2020 Local Government Chronicle Awards in the Driving Growth category. It recognises the success of the council’s bold strategy which is bringing investment, homes, jobs and opportunity to the borough.
Initial masterplan for Kirkby Valley Golf Club
Owners Green Circle Events outlined plans for the site including an adventure golf course, a 65,000 sq ft sports hall, clubhouse, football pitches, and tennis courts.
New ‘spirits and champagne’ bar set to open in Prescot
Eden aims to open its doors in mid-December, enhancing the growing evening economy in Prescot Town Centre.
PLP prepares 800,000sq ft Knowsley scheme
The 37-acre industrial site on Knowsley Business Park has been cleared and fully remediated, making it ready for development. PLP are confident of securing a pre-let at the 800,000 sq ft project.
Prescot businesses pledge support for council’s Christmas plans
Businesses in Prescot are pledging their support to the council’s magical plans for Christmas in the town this year. Festivities will begin with a switch-on of the town’s brand new lights on Saturday, 16 November
Huyton shop front transformations continue
Following the successful completion of five shop fronts on Derby Road, five more outlets are getting new signage, new shop fronts and feature lighting.
Spanish Manufacturer takes warehouse space in Knowsley
Spanish waste bin manufacturer Contenur will open its first manufacturing facility in the UK at Knowsley’s Image Business Park after signing a pre-let for a 56,500 sq ft warehouse. The company is expected to create 65 jobs, including 45 manufacturing roles, at the facility, which will include a 5,300 sq ft office along with a production warehouse totalling 47,000 sq ft
Metro Mayor announces ‘Good Business Festival’ for October 2020
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has announced a brand-new global business event set to take place across the city region in October 2020. The Good Business Festival will be a multi-venue event focused on showcasing, promoting and encouraging ethical business, and aims to attract household names from across the world to the Liverpool City Region.
Evoque sales surge helps JLR return to profit
The Halewood based car manufacturer achieved an 8% rise in revenues for the three months to September 30. Much of the improvement is attributed to a 24.3% year-on-year increase in Chinese sales.
Miller adds to Halewood housing boom
In the latest project to come forward within the 200-acre, 1,500-home East Halewood masterplan, Miller Homes has advanced plans for 162 homes at the southern end of the masterplan area, which is primarily rural or semi-rural land.
Knowsley Council is planning a “radical” strategy to transform the borough by 2030
The Knowsley Better Together board, made up of representatives from the council, businesses, emergency services, education and the voluntary sector. The Group agreed five aims for the borough’s 10-year Knowsley 2030 strategy.
Shakespeare North makes headlines in Stratford-upon-Avon
News about Prescot’s new theatre and visitor attraction has reached Stratford-upon-Avon, birthplace of William Shakespeare and home to the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Six Knowsley Schools nominated in 2019 Educate Awards
This year’s nominations include Northwood Community Primary who have been shortlisted in a brand new category the Mental Health and Wellbeing Award for a school’s commitment to promoting social and emotional wellbeing, mental health and wellness.
Gold Medal for former Knowsley pupil
Katarina Johnson-Thompson, a former pupil of St Mark’s Primary School in Halewood, has won her first gold medal at the World Athletics Championships.
Redrow puts forward housing proposal for East of Halewood development
The application requests permission for up to 730 homes across three plots on the 90 acre site.
Knowsley businesses urged to ‘back the Bard’
A new ‘100 Club’ has been set up to allow businesses to pledge a donation in order to develop the Playhouse project further.
Halewood manufactured Evoque leads China sales surge
Jaguar Land Rover says its Merseyside-produced Range Rover Evoque help push sales in China up almost 25% in the three months to September 30
Prescot revival shows no signs of slow down
Poco Loco is the latest addition to Prescot’s booming night time economy
First stage of construction on the Skakespeare North Playhouse complete
The highly-anticipated theatre in Prescot is expected to be complete in 2021 and following a period of intensive on-site enabling works, including piling, drainage and excavation work, the site is now prepared for the main construction
Knowsley’s ambitious growth plan progressing
A key priority for Knowsley is to deliver new homes for existing residents as well as attracting new ones into the borough. The plan sets out how public and private sector partners will grow the borough and attract investment, businesses, homes and jobs.
Knowsley to invest £2m in cycling routes
The council is working on a cycling and walking project that links Prescot to Cronton via the planned Halsnead Garden Village.
Kammac takes 200,000 sq ft in Knowsley
The logistics provider has signed a five year lease at the Knowsley200 building.
Knowsley leads on growth over the last year
A new report shows the huge contribution housebuilding is making on the Liverpool City Region and the findings highlight Knowsley is leading the way in housebuilding, reporting a 167% increase in new homes delivered from 2012/13 to 2017/18.
VIPs attend launch event for Shakespeare North Playhouse
To mark the start of an exciting new phase of delivery, Lord and Lady Derby welcomed specially invited guests to a reception at their home, Knowsley Hall.
£250k donation to the Shakespeare North Playhouse from Sir Ken Dodd’s estate
The much-loved comedian’s foundation pledge will be used to create a performance garden in his memory.
100,000 sq ft mixed use development planned for Knowsley
Commercial property developer, Orbit has brought forward plans for a mixed-use scheme at Academy Business Park near Kirkby, featuring nearly 100,000 sq ft of retail, trade counter, and self-storage space.
Knowsley secures £1m from Town Centre Fund
Prescot and Huyton named as two of the first 10 towns to receive a share of £6m fund from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to make town centres fit for the 21st century.
Don’t miss the Knowsley Feelgood Festival and Flower Show this weekend
Much-loved family events return to Court Hey Park on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 August.
Knowsley Council confirm acquisition of Kirkby Town Centre
At a special meeting, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet approved plans to buy St. Modwen’s assets in Kirkby Town Centre.
Knowsley secures £2m to improve the key route network
Knowsley Council has secured grant funding of £2 million from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Local Growth Fund to progress with the Bank Lane Corridor Improvement scheme in Kirkby.
LJLA expect 725k passengers this summer
As the schools break up for summer, Liverpool John Lennon Airport anticipate that almost three quarters of a million passengers will pass through the airport during their busiest period of the year.
Liverpool Airport secures 5-star rating in global punctuality survey
LJLA is the only airport in the UK to be given the top rating after achieving an on-time performance of 84.6% of flights running on time
Huyton-based Arcola Energy in zero emissions partnership
Hydrogen and fuel cell system engineers, Arcola Energy, automotive clean tech firm, AVID Technology, and global power management company, Eaton, plan to jointly participate in a U.K. government-sponsored program to develop battery and hydrogen fuel cell powertrains for zero emission commercial vehicles.
Knowsley business awarded contract on the Shakespeare North Playhouse
Work has now started on the highly anticipated Shakespeare North Playhouse, and local businesses are already beginning to reap the benefits of this prestigious development.
Extra £4m funding boost to Prescot’s Shakespeare North Theatre
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority have pledged £4m, on top of the £6.5m awarded in May 2018 to deliver the ambitious theatre project.
Matalan create 200 new jobs in Knowsley
The jobs boost at their Knowsley warehouse is to meet the growing demands of its e-commerce customers after the retailer revealed a 30% increase in online sales in its latest financial year.
Second phase plans for The Watch Factory.
The site currently operates as an extra care development and bungalows. Expansion plans include apartments blocks designed for the over-55 market, along with family housing.
Two Knowsley businesses honoured at the Echo Regional Business Awards
Blends Ltd who are based on Knowsley Business Park were named Business of The Year award and Walton Flooring Centre, who have an outlet in Huyton, picked up the Judges’ Choice award at the prestigious event.
Plans to expand Knowsley Business Park
Developer Tilstone has put forward proposals to add a further 43,250 sq ft over two plots at Knowsley Business park, including employment space and a petrol station.
Knowsley Council in talks to buy Kirkby Town Centre
The council has begun discussions with developer St Modwen to buy the retail scheme in Kirkby town centre. Their intention is to deliver the scheme as planned, with the existing tenants on board.
Knowsley Safari named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
The Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards recognised Knowsley Safari Park at a glittering awards ceremony in Liverpool Cathedral, which saw 19 accolades handed out to the stars of Liverpool’s visitor economy.
Alchemy Business park reaches second phase of completion.
The £8m phase totals 103,550 sq. ft. across three speculative units. Development was supported by a £1.8m Local Growth Fund grant, awarded to the Liverpool City Region LEP and invested through the Combined Authority’s Strategic Investment Fund.
Summer Shakespeare at Knowsley Hall
Lord Chamberlain’s men will perform one of Shakespeare’s most popular and best-loved comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, at Knowsley Hall this August. The annual event is a highlight of Knowsley’s events calendar.
Two Knowsley Businesses presented with Queen’s Enterprise Awards
Huyton based Roberts Recycling Ltd was awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in International Trade for their work exporting new and used clothing overseas. Tratos UK, received the Queens award for Enterprise for a new cable sheathing compound developed at their site on Knowsley Business Park.
Arcola signs up to Huyton Business Park.
The clean-tech business has agreed terms on a 15,000 sq. ft. unit at the business park, which will initially be used to produce systems for a fleet of hydrogen fuel cell electric double decker buses to be deployed in the Liverpool City Region.
Flintrock completes ‘largest’ speculative development.
Backed by a £9.4 million loan from the Chrysalis Fund and Knowsley Council, developer Flintrock have completed their latest project, the largest speculative unit built in the City Region for a decade.
Construction start date for Prescot’s Shakespeare North Playhouse
Work will commence on the highly anticipated project at the start of April. The theatre and education centre, which celebrates Knowsley’s links with Elizabethan drama and William Shakespeare, will attract hundreds of thousands of new visitors to the borough each year.
Knowsley tops the chart for ‘outstanding’ nurseries
Knowsley is home to more nurseries rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted than any other borough in the city region. More than 40% of nurseries in the borough have received the top rating.
Six Nominations for Knowsley companies
Five Knowsley Businesses have scooped six award nominations in the upcoming Echo Regional Business Awards. Winners will be announced at Liverpool Cathedral on 20 June 2019.
Titan propose 70,000 sq ft expansion to Kirkby Site
If approved, the warehouse space on the site will increase to around 520,000sq ft of industrial and employment space.
Pinion owner smashes Kickstarter world record
Gary Usher, owner of the Elite Bistros group – which includes Pinion in Prescot, – raised his target of £100k in just 11 hours to launch his latest venture, Kala, in Manchester city centre.
Knowsley Ambassadors event shines a spotlight on Apprentices
An all-female roster of speakers lead the latest Knowsley Ambassadors event, talking about apprenticeships during National Apprenticeship Week. Danielle Flynn, an award-winning apprentice at Jaguar Land Rover in Halewood, spoke passionately about out equal opportunities in the workplace, meeting inspiring women from her industry and empowering other girls to succeed in business.
Liverpool City Region announces intention to bid to host the 2026 Gay Games
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram announced the city region’s plans to attract the prestigious sporting event to the city in 2026 whilst at MIPIM.
Anthony Joshua surprises staff at JLR Halewood
World Heavyweight Champion AJ swapped his boxing gloves for driving gloves when he paid a surprise visit to JLR Halewood. The boxing super star is a Land Rover Ambassador.
Spotlight on Prescot at the LGA Culture Conference
The transformation of Prescot town centre was on the agenda at the Local Government Association Culture Conference. Major investment in the town has seen growth in new businesses and work on the new Shakespeare North Playhouse commences this summer.
Knowsley Council launches consultation for East of Halewood masterplan
Knowsley Council has drawn up a wide-ranging masterplan for the East of Halewood site, which will deliver 1,500 homes across the 200-acre semi-rural site, with upgrades to local education facilities and highways. Two consultation events are being held, and are due to take place on Wednesday 13 March between 3pm and 7pm, and on Saturday 16 March.
Knowsley backs LCR ambition to be the most LGBTQ+ friendly city in the UK
The new LCR Pride Foundation has launched with the support of Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, and backing from Knowsley and Wirral councils. The foundation’s focus will be on making the Liverpool City Region the most LGBTQ+ friendly region in the UK and will deliver a full calendar of campaigns as well as social and cultural events, including the annual Pride festival.
Metro Mayor takes a tour of Prescot
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor for the Liverpool City Region, visited Prescot, meeting with local businesses and seeing first-hand how plans are progressing with major projects happening in the town – including the new Shakespeare North Playhouse.
Plans underway for new housing scheme in Kirkby
‘The Maples’ development in Kirkby will combine high quality affordable housing alongside supported living with a range of communal facilities including a hair and beauty salon, lounges, gardens, and courtyard space.
Shakespeare North Interchange gets £8m of funding
Funding of £7.9m has come from the Liverpool City Region’s Strategic Investment Fund and a local contribution of £186,000, taking the total funding package up to nearly £8.2m.
Multi million-pound Prescot improvement package moves a step closer
Eight million pounds in funding is proposed for the Shakespeare North Rail Interchange transport scheme to encourage inward investment as well as support a better retail, leisure, cultural and housing offer in Prescot as part of Knowsley Council’s wider strategic objectives for the town.
Earlsfield public space proposal set for approval
A masterplan for a public open space at the Earlsfield Park development in Huyton will go to Knowsley’s planning committee with a recommendation for approval. The plans for the playing fields include nine football pitches, a clubhouse, improved vehicle access, a new car park, new paths, and landscaping.
Plans for 800k Sq ft. Knowsley development
Peel Investment (North) have submitted plans to develop a vacant site adjacent to Knowsley Business Park bringing an estimated 1,000 new jobs to the borough once the development is complete.
A first look at the progress of LFC’s new Kirkby training ground
The club’s new 9,200 sq ft complex in Kirkby will unite training facilities for the first team and youth operations for the first time in the club’s history.
City Region cash boost for Halsnead Garden Village.
Twelve million pounds of funding has been confirmed to pave the way for Halsnead Garden Village in Knowsley – one of the most significant developments in the region.
Liverpool Airport Passenger numbers highest for seven years
Liverpool John Lennon Airport handled more than 5.1m passengers in the past year, attributing the boost in passenger numbers to a raft of new routes to destinations across the globe.