Denise Barrett-Baxendale, chief executive of English Premier League football club Everton, has provided an update on the team’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, revealing plans for further “engagement and consultation” with fans.
Writing in a 12-page booklet sent out to Everton season ticket-holders, Barrett-Baxendale said engagement with local residents will start this summer on the Goodison Park legacy, while work is ongoing to appoint a new stadium project director.
Barrett-Baxendale also spoke about how no final decision have been made on the capacity or detailed designs for the new stadium, with further fan consultation planned in the coming months.
In addition, Barrett-Baxendale said the club is working to secure financing for the project with Liverpool City Council, while also looking at other options.
“Delivering a new waterfront home for Everton at Bramley-Moore Dock and a suitable lasting legacy for Goodison Park is one of the main priorities of the Board of Directors and something we are absolutely committed to delivering,” Barrett-Baxendale said, according to the Liverpool Echo newspaper.
“Our new home on the waterfront will not only be a fantastic new stadium for Everton but also kick-start a £1bn (€1.13bn/$1.31bn) regeneration of North Liverpool.
“We’re proud to be the catalyst for significant numbers of new homes, jobs and infrastructure – as well as introducing our world-famous waterfront to billions of Premier League fans on a regular basis.”
On the subject of the team’s current Goodison Park home, Barrett-Baxendale said: “I’ve been working with a number of colleagues across the city in developing a Trust Board that will look after the site – a site that will always be sacred to Evertonians – for generations to come.
“As part of that work, I am excited to confirm that engagement with local residents regarding the legacy for L4 will get underway later this summer.”
In terms of the final design for the stadium, Barrett-Baxendale said: “It is vital we get the right design and capacity at Bramley-Moore Dock and that the project remains affordable.
“No final decisions on either the capacity or final detailed designs have been made but your input into this process has been vital and I can assure you that we will consult further on these matters before final commitments are made.”
Barrett-Baxendale also spoke about financing plans for the project: “There has been progress in our work to secure finance for our new home.
“We are continuing to work with Liverpool City Council, as well as continuing to explore other options to secure the money needed to take the project forward.
“Due to the complexity around the funding models, the planning process and some challenges relating to the unique nature of the site, we haven’t always been in a position to provide updates as regularly as we might like.
“It is a very dynamic project and I’m sure you understand that we only feel we can provide updates when there is certainty on the various stages of the project.”
Barrett-Baxendale added: “You have my assurances that when there is information to share we will share it with you quickly and accurately.
“I would also like to thank the thousands of fans who took part in our surveys, helped us form our Key Principles and attended and provided feedback at our workshops over the stadium.
“This input is invaluable in shaping our new home. Prior to submitting a planning application, we will be undertaking more engagement and, in-turn, formal consultation with our fans, neighbours and wider stakeholders at both Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park.”
Image: Ben Sutherland