Prescot THI – Redesigning Market Place
Over the last decade, Knowsley Council has been regenerating Prescot town centre. Supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, Prescot THI (Townscape Heritage Initiative) focused on Prescot’s heritage to invest in, conserve and celebrate the town’s historic spaces and places.
PLACED worked with Knowsley Council’s Prescot THI to help local people shape the future of Market Place.
Market Place was the biggest project within the THI programme. Our work helped to shape the design and make sure it is a space that meets the needs and priorities of the local community. Because local people informed the design of the space, investment succeeded in transforming an unused corner of the town centre into a vibrant, much-used public space.
What we did
In 2017, we engaged local people of all ages and backgrounds in design and planning by:
- Creating a project brand and promotional materials to raise awareness of the project and how to get involved
- Delivering workshops for primary and secondary schools, and older residents
- Organising site visits to similar projects for inspiration
- Delivering a well-received survey
- Producing family events including a Treasure Hunt and Design Slams
- Holding a community exhibition and event to share ideas and findings.
Our activities engaged people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. We created social value through volunteering and skills development. Because of this, the engagement process supported Prescot THI’s reporting to Heritage Lottery Fund.
In addition to shaping the design, the report we produced supported Prescot THI’s reporting to Heritage Lottery Fund.
We got the information we wanted, but in an engaging and fun way, which in turn can only help with local buy-in to our project. By using an independent consultant to carry out the work there was no distraction for the participants of ‘the council’ being at the events and in turn the report and feedback we received has credibility.”
Our findings and recommendations formed the basis of the design brief shaped by the local community. This was run as a RIBA Competition in 2017, and was won by Mark Wray Architects. The architects went on to create a design that is shaped by local people and Market Place was named as a Regional Finalist in the 2021 Civic Trust Awards.