Thursday 23 January 2020

Everton warn of 'risks and uncertainties' with latest new stadium plan

A deal for land at Bramley Moore Dock means Everton have begun the process of leaving Goodison Park.
A deal for land at Bramley Moore Dock means Everton have begun the process of leaving Goodison Park.

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone admits there are a number of hurdles still to overcome before the club get a long-awaited new home in the city.

The Toffees have secured an agreement on a site at Bramley Moore Dock, two miles from Goodison Park on the banks of the River Mersey, from Peel Land and Property.

However, the £300million-plus scheme still needs to get through the planning process and be funded adequately, the burden of which falls solely on the club.

But nevertheless it is a significant step towards Everton leaving their home of 125 years at Goodison Park.

"Clearly, it is vital we have clarity on cost and we have to recognise that the stadium will be significantly more expensive at Bramley Moore Dock," said Elstone.

"To get that certainty, and ensure the stadium is affordable, we need to confirm stadium design, capacity and configuration and to do that we need to talk to fans, partners and all stakeholders in the project.

"We're keen to stress not only the scale of the work ahead but also the remaining risks and uncertainties.

"We're delighted we've secured the site... but significant hurdles remain, not least the preparation and submission of a detailed planning application.

"Receipt of a successful planning approval at some point early next year will be the most significant step towards bringing the stadium to life."

Elstone is only too aware how perilous the process of planning, executing and delivering a new stadium can be.

Since the turn of the century Everton have made three failed attempts - for projects intended for Kings Dock, Kirkby and Walton Hall Park - but hopes are high they will finally find a place to call their new home.

Bramley Moore Dock was always the preferred option of the club, driven by majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, despite it being a more complicated and expensive option than an alternative site in Croxteth.

The presence on the board of Iranian billionaire Moshiri, not a factor in their previous stadium projects, should considerably help that process.

"We are delighted that we have been able to agree heads of terms with Peel, giving us control of the Bramley Moore Dock site and allowing us the time we need to complete the substantial further work required to be able to confirm the project's viability," added Elstone.

"We can now move forward into the next phase of work with much greater confidence."

The new stadium will form part of the £5billion Liverpool Waters project which it is hoped will be a catalyst for economic regeneration and job creation in north Liverpool.

PA Media

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