Everton’s Walton Hall plan ‘could create 1,250 jobs’

A FEASIBILTY report into using half of a north Liverpool public park for a new Everton stadium says the development could create 1,250 jobs and 1,000 new homes.

In the summer the club said it was working with Liverpool City Council on plans for a  new stadium at Walton Hall Park.

They said the idea represented a “transformational regeneration opportunity” but it would mean carving out half of the 120-acre park at the end of the East Lancs Road.

A report by London-based economic consultancy Volterra Partners said the scheme also has the scope for 300,000 sq ft of leisure, retail and restaurant space. It stresses all the existing facilities, such as play areas and football pitches, could be retained and improved.

Everton wants to replace the 39,000 capacity Goodison Park with a 50,000-seat ground. A plan to move to Kirkby fell down in 2009 after it was blocked by the previous government on planning grounds. The club is keen to stay within the city boundaries and emulate the partnership between Manchester City FC and the local authority there, which has proved so effective in attracting investment to a run-down part of the city.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said: “This report, which is wholly independent, is in no way a plan or an agreement, but is an investigation only into the potential of a project of this scale. The figures used within it are looking at the maximum possibilities. It looks at statistics such as crime, education and unemployment figures and analyses the difference and benefits that a regeneration project could make to the area.

“I can state that, at this time, no plans have been presented to us by Everton FC, but clearly it would be irresponsible of us to allow anyone to come to us with any proposal, for anywhere in the city without us first taking a full and in-depth look at the situation. During all the discussions and public consultation events we have been open and transparent about the process that we are undertaking and so we have a responsibility to share this report and its findings with the public.

“We are listening to residents and we will continue to do so throughout the whole process. We have a designated team who will answer any questions and we will continue to keep you involved every step of the way.”