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14 Nov 2019

Huge vote for public support for new Everton stadium and legacy plans

Everton Football Club has revealed the results of its record-breaking public consultation into designs for a proposed 52,000 capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, Liverpool Waters and outline proposals for a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park.

Analysis of the data has revealed that 96 per cent of the 43,039 respondents want The People’s Project – the combined stadium development plan and redevelopment of the Goodison Park site - to continue and that 8 out of 10 non-Evertonians also support progression of the plans.

In what is believed to be the largest commercial public consultation in Liverpool’s history, the results show near universal support (98 per cent) for the design of the Club’s 52,000-seater stadium, which will form part of Peel L&P’s £5.5bn Liverpool Waters development, and 92 per cent support for Everton’s outline design for the redevelopment of Goodison Park. In addition, 91 per cent of responses support the proposed mix of uses and scale of development at the Club’s current home to create a community-led legacy that could include new homes, health, education, youth and business facilities.

The second stage of The People’s Project public consultation ran during July and August 2019 and included a 19-day touring exhibition that visited 12 locations across all six Liverpool City Region boroughs. The consultation also sought views on the plans for transport, heritage and the environment as part of the project.

The results show that 96 per cent of people support the proposed reuse of historic features at Bramley-Moore Dock, including the preservation and restoration of the dock’s Hydraulic Tower, while 90 per cent support the proposed transport strategy for both matchdays and non-matchdays.

In total 43,039 surveys were completed, making it one of the largest ever responses to a public consultation exercise for a commercial development proposal in the city’s history. The consultation also reached 2,726 non-Everton fans, 24 per cent of whom said they had no interest in football.

The touring exhibition events were attended by more than 15,000 people and included a stunning virtual reality experience giving users a chance to fly over the new stadium, place themselves in the centre circle and enjoy the view from the proposed giant home stand on matchday. In addition to the events, the Club also received responses through dedicated digital channels as well as a postal survey for residents living around Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park.

Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Chief Executive of Everton, 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 later this year with confidence. 

“I’d like to thank everyone that has taken part and had their say on all our plans. The results also 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.”

Alongside the quantitative data, the consultation also yielded a large volume of qualitative commentary, observations and ideas. Every comment has been read and is being used to help shape the detailed planning application for the stadium and the outline planning application for the community-led legacy at Goodison Park. Both will be considered by Liverpool City Council at the same time.

Over the course of the two-stage consultation, more than 63,000 responses were received, with Everton’s approach to engagement and consultation heralded as exemplar by industry experts.

The Club’s first stage public consultation was also met with overwhelming support with 94 per cent of the 20,168 respondents backing the principle of a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and 95 per cent supporting Everton’s plans for a community-led regeneration at Goodison Park.

Colin Chong, Everton’s Stadium Development Director, said: “From the start of this project our vision has been to build a stadium that is right for Everton and our supporters, for its dockland setting and for the Liverpool City Region.

 “Throughout The People’s Project we have been determined to be a beacon for appropriate engagement and consultation, as well as inclusive growth and regeneration. These projects [Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park] have the potential to deliver a significant economic, societal and cultural boost for the entire city region by creating new opportunities, jobs and visitor appeal.

“The opinions, ideas and observations we’ve received will be used by the project team and will inform the next steps of the project - as well as being included as part of our final planning applications.” 

Darran Lawless, Development Director at Liverpool Waters, part of Peel L&P, said: “Everton’s public consultation has revealed overwhelming support for the new stadium at Liverpool Waters which will be a huge catalyst for positive change across the city and wider region. The development will create new jobs, homes and breathe life into former redundant dockland whilst also providing greater public access for people to explore and enjoy an area of Liverpool’s magnificent waterfront and heritage assets not previously available.”

To be kept up to date with activity on the project, please visit the campaign website www.peoples-project.co.uk  or follow The People’s Project social media channels.