THE Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched an international design competition for Prescot’s historic Market Place, a space which was once the centre of economic and social life of the town for almost 700 years. Organised in partnership with Knowsley Council and the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the first phase of the competition will require architect-led teams to submit designs anonymously, in digital format only. 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 £1.6million in the conservation and celebration of these historic buildings, spaces and the town’s past and has levered in over £400,000 of private investment. To date, ten 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 and will therefore have a considerable impact on the look, feel and function of Prescot Town Centre. John Flaherty, Executive Director (Place), Knowsley Council 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.” For further information about how to enter the competition visit: http://www.ribacompetitions.com/prescot The closing date for receipt of Phase 1 submissions is 14.00hrs (BST) 8 June 2017.