Everton is today (Tuesday) celebrating the latest milestone in the development of its new stadium on Bramley Moore Dock after the Premier League club staged a project commencement ceremony to mark the breaking of ground in the construction of the £500m (€591m/$692m) venue.

Everton officially began work on the new 52,888-capacity venue on July 26 but today marks the groundbreaking ceremony for the project. Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale has hailed the ceremony as a “proud and momentous day” in the club’s history.

Barrett-Baxendale was joined by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright at today’s project commencement ceremony, with some of the stadium’s key planning, construction and engineering partners also in attendance.

July 26 marked the beginning of the ‘enabling works’ stage but today saw an Everton-branded excavator make the first incision into the eastern quayside at Bramley Moore Dock.

Since Everton assumed control of the site, construction partner Laing O’Rourke has been putting in place welfare facilities for the near 12,000 construction staff that will be required during the build, which is estimated to take around three years.

Everton said that the ceremony forms part of the required enabling works to the eastern quayside, which will eventually house the Fan Plaza, an area that could welcome more than 9,000 fans on match days.

The club added that work is continuing to repair and preserve the Grade 2-listed dock wall and to stabilise the listed hydraulic tower. Other work includes the raking of the dock floor and preparation for the demolition of existing non-listed structures, along with the laying of pipework ahead of the infilling of the dock in the autumn.

Kenwright said: “This is a momentous day. One that we have all been waiting for. To know that Evertonians and the people of this great city are together with us on this journey is a special feeling. Now that the work has commenced we can all watch our magnificent home as it comes to life. I am stating the obvious, but must reiterate that this day could not have happened without Farhad’s (Moshiri, club owner) continued support on every level and the drive and determination of our CEO Denise, and her team.

“In a few years’ time we will, of course, be bidding the fondest farewell imaginable to our cherished home at Goodison Park. That sad day will be made easier because we know we are going to an astonishing new stadium that will bring our fans and their children – and their children’s children – the kind of joy throughout the next century that we have all shared in Liverpool 4.”

Barrett-Baxendale added: “Breaking ground is a significant milestone for this project, for our football club and our city region. It is a tangible symbol of Everton’s future and a clear signal of our club’s ambitions.

“Today’s ceremony represents the culmination of an extensive and robust planning process. It delivers an exciting new future for our football club, invests in our local and national economy and supports our community as our region builds back better following the impacts of the global pandemic, while also ensuring the city’s oldest professional football club remains in our spiritual home of North Liverpool.

“I’m delighted we have been able to share today with the internal and external team of planning, construction and engineering partners who have worked tirelessly to make this project happen. I know for them it signifies a real starting point in the development phase of this transformational scheme.”

The Everton stadium project will create more than 15,000 jobs and is expected to attract 1.4 million visitors to the city of Liverpool. The project is also set to contribute an estimated £1.3bn to the UK economy.

Everton will be launching a new website dedicated to the stadium in the coming weeks. The site will provide news and information about the project, as well as give supporters and stakeholders the chance to view activity on-site through a webcam.

Image: Everton