Anfield plans show Liverpool making huge progress, reveals MD Ian Ayre
Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre believes "ambitious" plans to revamp Anfield demonstrate the progress being made by the club.
Great strides have been made on the pitch, with Brendan Rodgers' side top of the Premier League and closing in on their first title in 24 years - and the club now hopes to match that off the field.
A public consultation programme will take place on proposals to rebuild the Main Stand to add 8,500 seats with a further 4,800 put into a revamped Anfield Road end with a planning application likely to be submitted this summer.
If there are no stumbling blocks work could start early next year and be completed in time for the 2016-17 season.
"As part of our proposed stadium redevelopment project we have unveiled the detail of our ambitious plans for an expanded Main Stand and Anfield Road stand and are embarking on a consultation process which will shape and inform our planning application," said Ayre.
"In order to move forward with our expansion plans we need to have certainty that we can navigate the complex planning process and secure the support of the community, local home owners, businesses and other key stakeholders.
"This consultation exercise is an important part of this process.
"We started this journey just over 18 months ago and a lot of work has already been done, there is still an incredible amount to do, but good progress has been made so far and we are proud to be able to unveil our plans."
Redevelopment of the Main Stand, taking its capacity to 21,000, will see the club's iconic crest incorporated into the exterior and include a two-storey podium and a carefully-designed cloister which will become the new home for the Hillsborough Memorial.
The Main Stand will open onto a wide public concourse which will link the stadium into the wider Anfield area.
Liverpool City Council has confirmed negotiations with the remaining few property owners in the area surrounding the ground are progressing well and all parties are close to agreement but there are still details to be finalised.
"This is another important step in our ambitions to transform the Anfield area, bringing new jobs, investment and housing," said Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.
"The overall regeneration of Anfield will see £260million invested in the local community and will deliver hundreds of jobs - Liverpool Football Club's proposals for the stadium are a key part of this.
"We are all committed to delivering a brighter future for Anfield and the club's exhibition is a clear signal that real progress is being made with all our plans."