Shakespeare North chooses ‘social impact partner’

Prescot’s new £38m Shakespeare North Playhouse has chosen Livv Housing Group as its ‘social impact partner’ to support the local community

Shakespeare North Playhouse
Amanda Newton of Livv Housing Group, left, and Melanie Lewis, CEO, Shakespeare North Playhouse


Affordable housing group Livv will deliver ‘social impact’ for Knowsley residents in an agreement with the new £38m Shakespeare North Playhouse.

Shakespeare North Playhouse, which opens in July, has chosen Livv as its social impact partner. Last year, Livv worked with partners to invest more than £450,000 into local projects. These created more than £51m worth of social value for communities in Knowsley.

Through its Community Investment programmes, Livv looks to support people of all ages. It aims to help them feel confident and achieve their full potential. Its programmes provide access to support and resources that allow people to flourish and overcome barriers.

Activities include support with the cost of living and providing programmes focused on training and employment opportunities. There is also a push to reduce social isolation and support young people to aspire to bright futures. 

The Livv team is working with Shakespeare North Playhouse to engage communities in and around Knowsley. They will bring people from local communities into new spaces to make links between the arts and  issues such as learning, accessing employment and mental wellbeing

 The theatre, which is home to the only 17th-century ‘Cockpit” theatre outside London, will be a community asset, accessible to all. Melanie Lewis, chief executive of the Shakespeare North Playhouse, said: “This is a unique partnership, particularly in the arts.

READ MORE: Shakespeare theatre will set a shining example

“It sets Shakespeare North Playhouse apart as a new type of theatre, not only investing in our local area but working together to co-create positive opportunities and experiences to help people thrive.

“Livv has a proven track record delivering and supporting creative initiatives to help people thrive in our area. We want to ensure Shakespeare North Playhouse makes a real difference to people’s lives.”

Formed in April 2020 as an amalgamation of Knowsley Housing Trust, Vivark and One Ark – both part of the First Ark Group – Livv Housing Group provides affordable homes for around 25,000 people, through nearly 14,000 properties in Knowsley.

Léann Hearne, chief executive at Livv Housing Group, added: “This gives us a brilliant opportunity to engage people in ways that they have never experienced before.  This is so much more than a theatre. It is a business that will bring real value to the borough and the wider city region.

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