Everton has revealed the public consultation into designs for a proposed new 52,000-capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock recorded 96 per cent positive feedback.
The results show the club are on track to submit for planning by the end of 2019 for the stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park.
Everton released designs in July for the £500m development on the north Liverpool waterside, which features a brick, steel and glass design which takes inspiration from historic maritime and warehouse buildings nearby.
The People’s Project, the combined stadium development plan and redevelopment of the Goodison Park site, was voted on by over 43,000 respondents.
The commercial public consultation, which was the largest in Liverpool’s history, gave feedback on the project which could create new homes, health, education, youth and business facilities at Everton’s current home Goodison Park and aims to reuse historic features at the new stadium venue of Bramley-Moore Dock.
Everton chief executive Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “These results are a huge vote of confidence in our continuing plans for all aspects of The People’s Project. This is a really important milestone and having the level of support we have from the Liverpool City Region public means we can submit for planning before the end of this year with confidence.
“The opinions, ideas and observations we’ve received will be used by the project team to inform the next steps of the project – as well as being included as part of our final planning applications.
“I’d like to thank everyone that has taken part and had their say on all our plans. The results demonstrate a real understanding of the potential impact of The People’s Project. A proposed new Everton stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will provide the football club with a platform for growth and is vital to our long-term vision.
“It also has the potential to deliver a £1bn boost to the city’s economy and up to 15,000 new jobs with £34m of income going to local families. In addition, The People’s Project will attract 1.4m new visitors to the city on an annual basis and deliver £237m of additional societal value.
“This will be transformational, not only for Everton Football Club but also for North Liverpool and the wider city region.”
The consultation also reached 2,726 non-Everton fans, 24 per cent of whom said they had no interest in football, and results show eight out of 10 non-Evertonians also support progression of the plans.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson added: “We have been working with Everton from the start of this project and what has been clear from day one is that this stadium is not just right for the Club and their supporters, it’s a development that is right for our dilapidated docklands which sit in one of the poorest areas of the UK.
“Everton has carried out a brilliant public consultation to ensure everyone has had the opportunity to have their say on their proposals.
“Their plans for Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park, alongside our regeneration ideas for Ten Streets and Walton, have the potential to deliver a huge long-lasting economic and cultural boost for our communities in North Liverpool and across the entire city by creating new opportunities, jobs and visitor appeal.”
Sky Sports News’ Vinny O’Connor…
“After social media rumours in the last few weeks questioning whether Everton would be able to deliver this project, the club have hit back with an emphatic ‘yes’.
“The results of their second public consultation show overwhelming support for their proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and legacy project at Goodison Park.
“This gives the club greater confidence that planning permission will be granted due to the lack of dissenting voices in what’s been the largest commercial public consultation to ever take place in the city of Liverpool.
“Crucially, we understand there are a number of funding options on the table through private finance and Liverpool City Council. It is estimated the cost of the project will be around £500m.
“Private finance is the most likely route and there will be no negative impact by Brexit on the interest rate in those offers. In fact, the only way the deals could change would be to offer even more favourable rates of interest.
“Everton will confirm how they are financing the stadium once planning permission is granted.
“The planning application will now be submitted before the end of 2019. Should permission then be granted in the New Year, it’s a three year build from then, so Everton are on course to be in their new home for the 2023/24 season.
“Any delays in the build are easy to cope with as Everton will still be playing at Goodison Park.
“Everton will also check with the Premier League if and when necessary, to check it will be acceptable to move to their new stadium midway through the season, but believe that Tottenham set a precedent for this when moving back to north London last season.”