Huge vote of 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, and outline proposals for a community-led legacy project at its existing Goodison Park ground.
Analysis of the data has revealed that 96% 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 eight 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%) 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.
There is also 92% support for Everton’s outline design for the redevelopment of Goodison Park.
In addition, 91% 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% of people support the proposed re-use of historic features at Bramley-Moore Dock, including the preservation and restoration of the dock’s Hydraulic Tower, while 90% support the proposed transport strategy for both matchdays and non-matchdays.
In total, 43,039 surveys were completed, making it the largest ever response 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% 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.
Prof Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton chief executive, 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.”
She added: “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.”
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% of the 20,168 respondents backing the principle of a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, and 95% supporting Everton’s plans for a community-led regeneration at Goodison Park.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “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.”
Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, added: “Denise and her team have talked me through what are a very impressive set of consultation results.
“It is clear to see the people of the Liverpool City Region are firmly supporting Everton’s plans for a new stadium and a legacy development at Goodison Park.
“I look forward to working alongside the club and our city region leaders to maximise the full potential of this transformational project.”