English Premier League football club Everton has moved a step closer to a new stadium after an agreement was reached to lease land at Bramley Moore Dock.

Back in March, the club cleared the first major hurdle in its bid for a new stadium when agreeing a deal with developer Peel to acquire a site at Liverpool’s Bramley Moore Dock.

The project progressed further yesterday (Thursday) when Everton Stadium Development Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the club, and Peel formally signed a lease agreement for the site.

The lease is conditional upon gaining planning consent for the proposed new stadium and securing funding for its construction. It will run for a period of 200 years at a peppercorn rent.

Everton said in a statement that the move was a “significant milestone” and added that the club effectively now controls the land upon which a stadium would be built.

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: “Clearly, this is very positive news. Gaining control of the site was essential for us to be able to move forward with the next stages of the project – finalising the funding agreement with the Council and preparing for the submission of a planning application – both of which we hope to do in the new year. I’d like to thank Peel as well as Mayor Anderson and his colleagues at the Council for their support in getting us to this point.”

The stadium project forms part of Peel’s wide-ranging £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme, which has been labelled as one of the largest and most transformational developments in Liverpool’s history.

The scheme will also feature a host of leisure amenities and facilities, two new river terminals, office space and residential developments.

Ian Pollitt, assistant project director at Liverpool Waters, said: “2017 has been a landmark year for Liverpool Waters with a series of planning permissions granted for both Princes Dock and Central Dock, including the plans for a new cruise terminal and a collection of residential developments. We know that a world-class stadium, on the banks of the River Mersey, will act as a trigger for even more investment and jobs which will be of huge benefit to the whole city region. We’ve been working very closely with all partners to get to this stage and we’re excited to move on to the next phase of the project.”

Everton has already committed to fully funding the stadium, with no donation to be made by the council.

Everton has played at its current Goodison Park home since 1892.

IMAGE: IDOM