Everton will take the next major step towards building a new stadium on Bramley-Moore Dock with the launch of a public consultation next month.
The three-week consultation will begin on November 15 and seek to build broad support for the club’s plans for a new home within the city’s historic docks, as well as the proposed regeneration of Goodison Park.
Having done extensive outreach with their own fans, the club must now persuade the public at large of the merits of their proposals, which have been packaged under the title ‘The People’s Project’.
“This consultation marks a very significant moment as we progress with this project,” Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said. “We would like as many people as possible – and not just football fans – to take part and let us know their views.”
The consultation, an essential part of the planning application the club intend to submit in the second half of next year, will see an exhibition about the proposals visit eight locations around the city region between November 15 and December 1, while a new website will allow people to register their views.
At this stage, the consultation will be on the broad principles of Everton’s proposals. The club are yet to decide on a specific design or capacity for the stadium – plans which will then be the subject of a second public consultation next year.
“We know everyone is very keen to see images of what the stadium might look like and we look forward to sharing them next year,” stadium development director Colin Chong said.
“We will abide by a careful and considered process that respects all stakeholders’ interests. This is a multi-faceted project and it is important that we do everything required to ensure our planning application, when it’s made, stands the best chance of success.”
Everton settled on Bramley-Moore Dock as their preferred site last year, and have spent months working on plans they insist will be in keeping with the area’s historic status.
“Everton is committed to delivering an authentic football stadium which responds to Liverpool’s World Heritage Site designation,” Barrett-Baxendale added. “The plans we are developing will respect the historic features of the site and complement its surroundings.
“The rich history and connections between the old docker community and the city’s football family are inseparable.
“A move to the city’s North Docks will be very poignant for many of our supporters who will have had family members work there and will give them a chance to enjoy a part of cultural Liverpool that has not been open to the city for decades.”
They say they are also keen to leave a meaningful legacy around Goodison Park, aiming to drive regeneration of one of the most deprived parts of the city.
“We have deep roots in L4 and are committed to building on the extensive investment we have already made in the area,” Barrett-Baxendale added. “We are preparing plans to redevelop the existing stadium site to create facilities which will benefit the whole community, creating jobs and improving lives.”
Everton estimate the two projects combined would deliver a £1billion boost to the city’s economy and create 15,000 jobs for local people, 12,000 of them during construction.