Everton officially commenced work on its new 52,888-capacity stadium at Bramley Moore Dock yesterday (Monday).
The July 26 start date was set earlier this month and contractors Laing O’Rourke have now started on the first phase of the project, which will see enabling works carried out to prepare the dock site in readiness for the build.
Everton stadium development director Colin Chong yesterday provided supporters with an update on the project. Chong hailed the “significant occasion” and thanked fans for their support on the project, but urged them not to attempt to access the Bramley Moore Dock site as work begins on the stadium.
Chong confirmed that a web camera will be fitted at the site in the coming weeks to provide fans with live images of the work being carried out, while a new project website will also be launched to house all the latest news and serve as a hub for any fan questions.
Chong said that the enabling works phase, which will see the dock site prepared for the build, will take “several weeks” and include the installation of staff welfare facilities. According to Chong, there could be as many as 12,000 people working on the project throughout the build phase.
“Our next steps for the dock are to ensure we carefully remove and rehome any wildlife and other organisms in the water before we begin infilling the dock with sand from the Mersey estuary in the autumn,” Chong said.
“The demolition of the existing non-listed structures is also still some weeks away but we need to make sure we have cleared the buildings of any unrequired materials and finalised our site clearance and demolition plans. It is our intention that we’ll be formally breaking ground on the eastern quayside in the early part of August.”
Last week, Liverpool’s World Heritage status was revoked amid concerns over developments at the city’s waterfront, with the new Everton stadium cited as one of the reasons.
Chong reiterated that respecting and enhancing heritage at Bramley Moore Dock has always been one of Everton’s “key principles”, adding that the club will be investing more than £55m (€64.3m/$75.8m) to preserve, restore and celebrate the heritage assets at the site.
This process has started by repairing the listed dock wall and in the coming days the club will begin stabilising the hydraulic tower, which will become a visitor centre on match days and non-match days.
Everton was officially cleared to begin work on the stadium in March after its planning application received Government approval. Liverpool City Council’s Planning Committee unanimously approved the plans on February 23.