Everton has released the results for the second stage of its public consultation over plans for its new stadium, with an overwhelming majority of fans expressing their support for the project.
The club received more than 43,000 responses during the consultation, with 96 per cent backing the plans and 98 per cent supporting the proposed Bramley-Moore Dock waterfront design. The outline design for the redevelopment of Goodison Park, Everton’s current home, has been supported by 92 per cent of respondents.
Everton said the club is on track to submit planning application for the 52,000-seat stadium by the end of the year. The announcement follows what is believed to be the largest commercial public consultation in the history of the city of Liverpool.
The second stage of the consultation ran during July and August and included a 19-day touring exhibition that visited 12 locations across the six boroughs in the Liverpool City Region. As well as the stadium designs, the consultation explored areas such as transport, heritage and the environment.
Ninety-six per cent of respondents expressed support for the proposed reuse of the historic features at Bramley-Moore Dock, including the preservation and restoration of the dock’s Hydraulic Tower. Ninety per cent supported the proposed transport strategy for the stadium on match days and non-match days.
The consultation included responses from 2,726 non-Everton fans, 24 per cent of whom said they had no interest in football. A total of 43,039 surveys were completed and the touring exhibition events were attended by more than 15,000 people.
Everton chief executive Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “These results are a huge vote of confidence in our continuing plans for all aspects of The People’s Project. This is a really important milestone and having the level of support we have from the Liverpool City Region public means we can submit for planning before the end of this year with confidence.
“The opinions, ideas and observations we’ve received will be used by the project team to inform the next steps of the project – as well as being included as part of our final planning applications. I’d like to thank everyone that has taken part and had their say on all our plans. The results demonstrate a real understanding of the potential impact of The People’s Project. A proposed new Everton stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock will provide the football club with a platform for growth and is vital to our long-term vision.
“It also has the potential to deliver a £1bn (€1.17bn/$1.29bn) boost to the city’s economy and up to 15,000 new jobs with £34m of income going to local families. In addition, The People’s Project will attract 1.4m new visitors to the city on an annual basis and deliver £237m of additional societal value.”
The first stage of the public consultation was also met with support, as 94 per cent of the 20,168 respondents backed the principle of a new stadium on the Bramley-Moore Dock site and 95 per cent supported the Goodison Park regeneration plans.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “Everton has carried out a brilliant public consultation to ensure everyone has had the opportunity to have their say on their proposals. Their plans for Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park, alongside our regeneration ideas for Ten Streets and Walton, have the potential to deliver a huge long-lasting economic and cultural boost for our communities in North Liverpool and across the entire city by creating new opportunities, jobs and visitor appeal.”
Everton hopes to begin playing at the new stadium by 2023.