English Premier League football club Everton has had its £300m (€351m/$375m) new stadium plans backed by Liverpool City Council (LCC).
The move to build on Bramley Moore Dock was formally approved on Friday by LCC and the decision financially guarantees the project.
Under the agreement, the council will provide security for Everton’s loans and receive £4.4m a year from the club as a security fee, according to UK newspaper the Guardian.
The council cabinet has agreed to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to help Everton secure the investment it needs to build a new 50,000-capacity ground at Bramley Moore Dock. The location forms part of the wide-ranging, £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme, which developer Peel is overseeing. The club announced that it had reached an agreement with Peel to acquire a site at Bramley Moore Dock almost two weeks ago.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said, according to the Guardian: “It is a win-win for us as a council. It is a great deal for the council regarding funding but it is important to recognise that it’s going to be a driver for the regeneration of north Liverpool. It’s great for Everton as an institution but for Liverpool city council it brings in £4.4m a year, probably a bit more, and hopefully kick-starts the regeneration of north Liverpool.
“We are using our financial strength to securitise the deal and we have securitised ourselves against all eventualities. We are serious about a Commonwealth Games bid and want Everton in their design to look at that and they are doing [so]. We are truly well securitised. I don’t believe Everton will be relegated in the near future but even if they were, we have the security of season ticket revenue, the TV deal, the value of players and the value of the club.”
It is hoped the new stadium will help drive economic development in north Liverpool, with the council planning a £100m regeneration of the surrounding area. Everton has played at its current Goodison Park home since 1892.
The decision gives Everton the security required to bring in funding for its project. The club is also expected to submit a detailed planning application by the end of the year, although Anderson insists there are no time constraints on the Bramley Moore plans other than in relation to the Commonwealth Games bid.
The Mayor also said that the new stadium would be a “key part” of Liverpool’s bid to host the 2022 edition of the multi-sport event.
“Hopefully, if we get the chance to host the Commonwealth Games in 2022, the stadium will be in place,” Anderson said.
“For the 2026 bid, we are expecting a decision in August or September but because of Durban pulling out they need to find a replacement and there should be announcement in the next two months.
“We are putting forward our bid at the moment. We will hopefully have a stadium on that site and we can have an athletes’ village next door. We have already had conversations about that with Peel. Hopefully the government listens to us.”