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Everton expansion plans approved

Everton have been granted planning permission for a £9million development to expand their retail and administration capabilities at Goodison Park.

The four-floor, self-funded development will be built on the site of the Club Everton lounge at the Park End of the stadium and will house a 900 square metre retail store, museum, cafe, a fan-focused hospitality lounge and office space.

It will also free up space which means capacity for corporate hospitality inside the stadium itself can be expanded.

"The new building is an exciting phase in the development of Goodison Park," said chief executive Robert Elstone.

"It will help us grow our business and will also get the entire Everton team under one roof, something that is long overdue and an opportunity to further improve how we work as a team for the benefit of the fans."

Work will start before the end of the year and is expected to be completed in Autumn 2011, with the project being paid for entirely through the assistance of existing club retail partner Kitbag and stadium catering partner Sodexo.

The development confirms the club's medium-term future remains at Goodison after plans to build a new stadium in Kirkby collapsed last year when they were rejected by the government.