Work has begun on a new theatre and tourist attraction in Merseyside dedicated to the work of William Shakespeare.

The Shakespeare North Playhouse in Prescot is due to open next year.

It has won the backing of Dame Judi Dench, who is patron of the project.

She says its impact will be felt by generations to come.

"You never know what might suddenly catch you. It's the excitement of seeing something new and experiencing something that perhaps you never thought of."

Dame Judi Dench
Credit: ITV News

"From learning about Shakespeare in school, to be standing now on a site where we are actually going to have our own theatre here in Knowsley is just amazing."

Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council