Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, believes Everton’s new stadium project will unlock economic potential in the region following the coronavirus outbreak.
Everton hopes to begin work on the new 52,000-seat stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock later in the year, with plans to begin playing at the state-of-the-art venue by 2023. Liverpool City Council is expected to make a decision on Everton’s planning application for the stadium in the summer.
Last month, Everton named construction company Laing O’Rourke as the preferred contractor for the stadium. The two parties are working to develop a detailed and robust design and delivery programme for the stadium.
The council’s public consultation period on the planning permission runs until tomorrow (Friday) and the Press Association reports that Everton does not foresee the coronavirus causing any further delay.
Murison said: “The confidence point is really important. Clearly the priority is protecting people’s health but you will have seen what the chancellor said about how we keep the economy going and there are significant projects like the stadium in north Liverpool which will make a big difference to the economy, not just in Liverpool but the wider north. Investments like this will unlock real economic potential.
“If we can control the virus while keeping the economy going then yes, government investment will keep us going in the next few months but there is absolutely a role for mega-projects like this. The economic value of this development is significant in the construction phase but the economic value it will generate all through the year, not just when football is being played, is the reason why it is so important.”
Speaking on the All Together Now podcast, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said he does not foresee either the coronavirus or Brexit delaying the construction process.