Disabled access to the fore as Liverpool details Anfield improvements

English Premier League football club Liverpool has detailed the latest string of improvements made to Anfield in readiness for the start of the 2017-18 season.

Anfield will now feature more than 250 wheelchair positions for disabled supporters, with improved viewing positions having been provided for visiting disabled fans. More than 150 extra-amenity and easy-access seats have been fitted as part of the move.

For the first time, visiting disabled supporters will also be seated in the away section, with new lift shafts having been fitted. Structural walls have been removed, while ramps have been recast to provide more accessible gradients. Lounge space has also been converted into disabled seating areas.

In addition, a new automatic irrigation system has been fitted to the Anfield playing surface, as well as a new undersoil heating system which will both aid the pitch’s growth and prevent the ground from freezing during the winter.

A new club shop, twice the size of the current store, will also open and feature a specially-designed first-floor café.

Fan zones around the stadium will also be improved, with new food and beverages offerings to be provided.

Furthermore, work on Liverpool’s Anfield Forever project, which will celebrate the club and its players, managers and supporters, is progressing. The project will feature specially-engraved granite stones comprising fan messages and dedications.

Liverpool’s operations director Andrew Parkinson said: “It has been a hugely successful summer in terms of delivering, and also the complexity of, these projects. These projects further demonstrate the commitment from our ownership to invest in Anfield.

“The stadium accessibility improvements have been a big part of the upgrade works and we are pleased that we will now comply with the Accessible Stadia Guide for the number of wheelchair spaces and amenity seating around the stadium.

“As a football club we are always striving to improve fans’ experience at Anfield on a match day, and by making improvements to the fan zones around the stadium we hope that fans will be able to further enjoy the unique atmosphere when they visit the stadium.

“As we continue to develop Anfield, our match-day team continues to grow and we now have over 2,200 people working on match day, with 85 per cent of them from the Merseyside area.”

Liverpool’s first home game of the 2017-18 season is against Crystal Palace on August 19.

Image: Ruaraidh Gillies