“The People's Project” will begin on 15 November and will, over the ensuing three weeks, gather the views of Everton supporters, the general public, senior business figures and other interested parties like English Heritage over the club's proposed development at Bramley-Moore Dock as well as the future use of Goodison Park.
While Everton had hoped to submit the planning application for the docks site at least by the end of this year, that has been put back, along with the plans for the club's current home in Walton, until the latter half of 2019, partly due to the club navigating issues surrounding the north docks' World Heritage Site status and a change in tack over funding sources.
The Blues have plans to build community facilities at Goodison to augment the existing Everton In The Community initiatives that have been put in place in recent years and to preserve Everton's legacy in an area that has been their home since 1892.
While the consultation process will kick off shortly, the final designs for the Bramley-Moore Dock project, it's capacity, and how it will be funded won't be finalised until next year. The first images of the stadium will be unveiled during a second public consultation in the summer of 2019. While the target of opening the stadium in 2022 remains the official line, it is thought that the delay in the planning application means that the 2023-24 season is more realistic.
“We know everyone is very keen to see images of what the stadium might look like and we look forward to sharing them next year," said Colin Chong, Everton's new Stadium Development Director.
"We will abide by a careful and considered process that respects all stakeholders' interests. This is a multi-faceted project and it is important that we do everything required to ensure our planning application, when it's made, stands the best chance of success.
“The club has already carried out a huge amount of work to get us to our current position, making sure any scheme we develop is right for the club, the fans and for the city region as a whole. This is a long and methodical process and the public consultation forms an important part of this.”
Everton's Chief Executive Officer, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said, meanwhile:
“Our ambition is not just to create a new home for a very proud and historic football club but also a new landmark stadium, in an iconic setting, which will deliver huge regeneration benefits for the whole of the Liverpool City Region.
“We have deep roots in L4 and are committed to building on the extensive investment we have already made in the area. We are preparing plans to redevelop the existing stadium site to create facilities which will benefit the whole community, creating jobs and improving lives.
“Everton is committed to delivering an authentic football stadium which responds to Liverpool's World Heritage Site designation. The plans we are developing will respect the historic features of the site and complement its surroundings.”
Reader Comments (63)
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1 Posted 24/10/2018 at 22:38:29
2 Posted 24/10/2018 at 22:49:44
Possibly the most important element – How is the money being raised to pay for a new stadium? – doesn't get a mention.
3 Posted 24/10/2018 at 22:50:38
4 Posted 24/10/2018 at 22:52:55
I would think that it would be delayed by at least one year which would mean 2023-24 seems more likely than 2022-23.
5 Posted 24/10/2018 at 22:54:41
6 Posted 24/10/2018 at 23:03:22
7 Posted 24/10/2018 at 23:39:52
The costs and financial options are likely to have shifted.
Its also probable that investors who might be keen want to wait too. Only a guess but Id want to wait too before committing to a project where the financial landscape could easily implode.
The club have to this point being extremely poor at communicating its vision and plans. Two years of silence and it feels like nothing has been accomplished. A bit like on the pitch to be fair.
8 Posted 25/10/2018 at 00:08:59
As long as we get this right, let's let the club get on with it.
9 Posted 25/10/2018 at 00:26:23
Invest and press ahead now and costs could easily sky-rocket post-Brexit. It could ruin the club and investment interest completely.
It would leave the club stuck at Goodison Park with pockets deeper than Moshiri's needed to get things back on the rails.
My greater issue has always been with Everton's inability to communicate news well. The lack of skilled PR professionals is damning.
Appalling under Bill, the veritable one-man band, Moshiri's utterances have been little better. Our departed CEO was on Radio 5 Live only at the weekend. I nearly fell asleep at the wheel!!
Projects like this need clear communication and a strong leader. For me, it's simply not there. Keith Harris allegedly in charge of the move?! What's he ever had to say?!
Indeed, it has often been left to Dan Meis to bang the drum on social media, and it's only his superb body of work that has many convinced Everton must be serious with such an esteemed architect in tow...
Come on!! I remain underwhelmed and unconvinced.
Better on the pitch, though Steve, my alarm bells were ringing about Silva's need to abandon his principles in the West Ham and Huddersfield games so quickly; however, the selection and decision to stick with the style against Palace was heartening.
10 Posted 25/10/2018 at 08:17:01
The next step should be to submit plans and then show us the plans. We've already been consulted a few times now. Let's see some real progress...
11 Posted 25/10/2018 at 08:26:15
Delaying the stadium due to seeking private investment makes sense as most of us know that our RS neighbours were already making plans to drag us, and LCC, through the courts to stop any investment or loans of public money. The consultation period also allows the club to dodge any roadblocks our opponents have in mind. This will make the stadium plans ironclad imo.
The 52-55,000 capacity also makes sense for two reasons:
1) We can almost guarantee a full house for most home games. If Mr Meiss does his job properly the acoustics could make this sound like an 80.000 crowd.
2) Gate money only makes up a small percentage of income these days. I'm sure the moneymen have studied all the pros and cons of a larger capacity stadium but have decided to go for the safer option.
12 Posted 25/10/2018 at 08:37:38
We all wanted the Docks, but this is the trade off.
There's little point in submitting a planning application that's doomed to fail just to save face and hit previously agreed dates. I see this reckless short-term goal-setting all the time in my line of business and they never stand up to scrutiny.
Can only imagine the complexities surrounding this application? So it's going to take time.
Re Brexit, I'm not sure folk get that the March date is just the beginning of the exit process. Markets will be volatile but the world won't end and there's a myriad of financial instruments to protect the club and investors from rising construction prices and an unpredictable economy (which are ubiquitous).
13 Posted 25/10/2018 at 08:47:22
14 Posted 25/10/2018 at 09:19:15
I for one believe it will happen. I can understand people's doubts after previous debacles but past failure doesn't guarantee future failure when so many things have changed at the club.
As for being kept informed? I can't understand how some people expect weekly bloody updates when there's basically nothing of note to tell. When there's definite concrete (no pun intended) information which is deemed suitable for public release, it'll be released. Just because you're a supporter, it doesn't (and shouldn't) mean you're entitled to be informed of every single move in what are, not just in business terms, sensitive issues.
Yeh, we'd all love to be able to gaze lovingly at our shiny new ground and have it as our screen saver but unfortunately £500m (at the very least) projects take time to get moving, let alone get right. So, for me, it's simply a case, as a lot of other club issues are, of you being "glass half-full" or "glass half-empty".
It's all opinion. The club's been shite, the club's doing the right thing. Opinions are like arseholes — everybody has one!
15 Posted 25/10/2018 at 09:22:31
At the moment, it looks like the 2023-24 season is most realistic, and that would be an achievement.
16 Posted 25/10/2018 at 09:49:49
17 Posted 25/10/2018 at 10:00:20
Priceless, Bill, priceless!
Er... it is a joke, right?
18 Posted 25/10/2018 at 10:13:09
Anyone who thinks nothing has been happening is seriously deluded! A project of this scale takes time, lots of time – and remember, it's not just the stadium – it's the whole area sitting on a World Heritage Site. Think of it similar to a listed building and the hoops you have to jump through to get permission etc with that!
19 Posted 25/10/2018 at 11:06:56
But, after seeing us get 38-odd thousand against Palace on Sunday, I took a step back and thought are we really going to fill a 60k seater stadium every week?? And what will the atmosphere be like if we only have 40k people inside??
We have got to trust in Dan Meis and the board to give us the state-of-the-art but still atmospheric stadium we all crave and want even if it means less is more.
20 Posted 25/10/2018 at 11:21:04
There are several stalled stadium developments around the country. Bournemouth is the most high profile recent example but the likes of Brentford and Southend have all run into delays with projects much more straightforward than Bramley-Moore. So more time taken now to address risks and issues will ultimately pay dividends.
As regards the finance, many businesses, both large and small, are holding back investment decisions while the Brexit debacle drags on. A stadium funded entirely by private finance avoids the political controversy associated with a public sector loan but may be deemed higher risk in a very uncertain business environment. Keeping all options open at this stage makes sense.
21 Posted 25/10/2018 at 12:20:47
Brian #14, thanks for the way you put it.
Let's focus on supporting the lads on the pitch and move upwards, while the stadium is built from the papers to bricks.
22 Posted 25/10/2018 at 12:21:18
Although this introduces complexity and potential delay, it could prove to be an inspired strategy in the long run, making it much harder for local saboteurs, and not least the thatched roof brigade of English Heritage and UNESCO, to put the blocks on the Bramley-Moore Dock element of the project.
Would these Luddites really want to be held responsible for being the cause of such enlightened redevelopment as that of deprived L4 being scuppered?
23 Posted 25/10/2018 at 12:39:10
She is meeting with Dan Meis and from my brief conversation with her, she knows exactly what is required to deliver a stadium that would represent Everton's history, and where the fans want the club to be in the future. I think things are ticking along at the right pace, with the management ensuring this move ticks all the boxes.
On a side note Denise seems a charming and genuine lady.
24 Posted 25/10/2018 at 12:48:55
60,000 seater? As we saw in the Carabo Cup, make it cheap enough for families / school children, and we will fill the new stadium, plus all successful football clubs have waiting lists for season tickets.
25 Posted 25/10/2018 at 12:50:54
26 Posted 25/10/2018 at 12:53:06
I genuinely don't know the ins and outs of these things.
27 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:10:51
I think the finance side of things is by far the bigger story here.
28 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:20:46
I imagine the "Public Consultation" will be along the lines of those held at the Church in Goodison Road which was attended by Dan Meis and selected Everton supporters, Season Ticket holders etc.
Surely it wouldn't involve that bitter shower of arse wipes would it? What's it got to do with them? They can all snuggle down into their Reindeer hide and plot their next "What can I be offended by next?" plan.
29 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:32:18
30 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:35:28
31 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:41:54
Then again, why should we worry? They couldn't think of any worthwhile reasons to object to the scheme.
32 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:43:42
It was tongue in cheek but some developments have been held up by the alleged, or otherwise, presence of rare newts.
I share your reservations about involving possible RSs in any consultation process but their previous main objection, on Radio Merseyside, of 'what about the Dock Road residents' was countered by the fact there aren't any!
Any other objections they may dream up will probably be just as facetious.
33 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:46:32
34 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:47:30
My knee-jerk on this has always been to question why the club has not released at least preliminary images of the stadium plan and surrounding infrastructure to give the project a sense of life and get folks excited, and perhaps even potential investors. And with the latest call for public involvement, on what do you want folks to comment when nothing remotely concrete has been put forth?
On reflection, however, I'm convincing myself that it makes sense and is playing the long game. If this public consultation phase is mandatory, and it being in a sensitive site with many in the wings who'd rather see it de-railed, it would make sense NOT to make Everton's shiny new stadium the center of focus. Place the emphasis on the benefits to the area at large, the community-driven legacy at L4, the jobs, the increased tax income for the council etc. Private funding would go a long way to keep critics' voices in the background and make it hard for noise from that contingent to sound anything but sour RS.
It is manufacturing consent not through deception, as the club and DBB seem to truly care for L4 and the City at large, but through highlighting the community rather than exclusively Evertonian benefits.
I think we all see the wood for the trees in terms of waiting for Brexit to pass prior to committing which makes absolute sense. The 2022 estimate was likely based on the Commonwealth Games and at this point seems unlikely. The change of guard at CEO has also had an impact as I never held much of what Robert Elstone uttered to hold water and strategically he was something of a minnow. I wouldn't underestimate DBB in this respect.
Saying all that, it has to be said the Club's PR since setting foot on Bramley-Moore Dock (and for many a moon prior) has been dire. Meis's gagging order seems to have been somewhat lifted as he has resumed teasing on social media but thankfully there is now a platform in the new People's Project website that (hopefully) the Club will use to good effect to control the narrative. I fear it will sit gathering dust akin to Meis's Website's BMD section 'check back often' of Sept 2017 but hopefully I'll be proven wrong and the blanks will be filled in by the club and not endless social media chatter.
I for one believe this will happen but believe there are huge hurdles ahead, not least the initial Brexit terms and its aftermath. Just glad that there's a sense of optimism on the pitch to carry this news with it.
35 Posted 25/10/2018 at 13:51:49
I get they might be nervous as we will have the bigger and better stadium but any rational minded person (I know, not many of them wear red) would only see the investment as a good thing bringing much-needed revenues and to the city not to mention a load of jobs during and after construction!
You can bet your life some of those jobs will be taken up by red fans!!
36 Posted 25/10/2018 at 14:10:22
The Echo has a number of recently published articles on BMD and here are a few extracts.
The club sees this as the second most important part of the stadium process so far, after securing the land itself.
Because Bramley-Moore Dock is in the city's World Heritage Site, the stadium plans are likely to come under massive scrutiny. And it's likely there WILL be objections.
The club knows its fans largely support the stadium plan. But that won't be enough to win planning permission.
These consultations will have an effect on the project going forward, with the feedback from these 17 days playing a crucial part of the planning application process.
So, even if you have shared your views on the stadium before, Everton need all the positive feedback that can be mustered over the next month or so.
Heading towards a stage in which the Blues will feel comfortable in submitting planning permission they need to both have a funding model in place and have the support of not just Everton fans, but the wider faith of people in the city that this is the right way to move forward – not just at Bramley-Moore but at Goodison Park too.
37 Posted 25/10/2018 at 15:05:29
I can completely understand folks having stadium fatigue, especially with the Club's history in this area, but now could be a really important time to show a groundswell of support for the project at large.
38 Posted 25/10/2018 at 15:54:18
The day the first spade is plunged into the ground at Bramley-Moore Dock will be a day of celebration for us Blues. Okay, it might take another three years from that day for the stadium to be completed, but watching it grow day by day will be exciting for us all.
39 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:07:38
My concerns are twofold.
● Delays give objectors more time to consider their case.
● Delays always mean rising costs.
We have had two years and a lot of expertise on this project already and to suggest we will only be putting an application for planning in next year stretches the patience somewhat.
The Baltic Triangle development was conceived and developed in half the time this project is looking like.
40 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:09:17
As for objections, if they have to be in writing, there won't be any from rednecks.
Horrible club... even more horrible supporters.
41 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:12:33
43 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:28:28
I'll be brown bread by time we build this stadium!
44 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:31:23
45 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:36:05
The Brexit thing is something of a red herring in my opinion. As others have said, that's going to drag on for years so, if we're waiting for post-Brexit planning, we won't be turning a sod until about 2023.
However, one of the benefits of our membership of the EU has been a limitless supply of cheap labour, but with the loss of that and the supply problems posed by the UK having pretty much full employment, labour costs will rocket unless the government allows immigration from the rest of the world to make up for the constant stream we would have had from Eastern Europe.
46 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:38:10
47 Posted 25/10/2018 at 17:44:44
It's a lot more substantial than just a few bars and restaurants.
The brewery building is being developed and there is a large hotel and restaurant being developed there at the moment.You're talking about 40 or 50 premises. A lick of paint does not do justice to the amount of work done there already.
But I'm not talking about construction anyway, I'm talking about how quickly it was conceived, planning applications in and approved and work started.
My major concern isn't that Bramley-Moore Dock won't happen, I just can't understand why its taken over 2 years to get to the consultation stage.
48 Posted 25/10/2018 at 18:56:16
I'm not knocking the work that has been done there either, by the way, it's a great place to go and is a massive benefit to the city but have you seen how basically a lot of the businesses have been done! Applaud it as it's more profit to them but, if you want the stadium to follow that process, we'll end up with a shitty stadium.
49 Posted 25/10/2018 at 19:01:21
Sadly I've seen plans for tall buildings, shopping centres, and even parks fall by the wayside, because certain people kicked up a major fuss. I just hope the dark side and that Scandinavian country don't kick up a fuss.
51 Posted 25/10/2018 at 19:34:58
52 Posted 25/10/2018 at 19:52:17
A capacity of 52,000 seems grim to me as well. My first question would be, does 52,000 with a low number of boxes create the income that puts us as challengers to the biggest clubs?
53 Posted 25/10/2018 at 20:06:09
I agree they are not directly comparable but I do think you are underestimating the scale of works over there. There is at least £500 million investment going in there and, despite all the historic buildings, conception and planning were completed pretty quickly by comparison with Bramley-Moore Dock.
54 Posted 25/10/2018 at 20:08:34
55 Posted 25/10/2018 at 20:13:50
A 55,000 capacity, with the possibility to increase, is a safer option imo. Meis is all about acoustics and atmosphere. We'll be alright on the night.
56 Posted 25/10/2018 at 21:04:22
Proper planning and preparation will see these projects home and I think a balanced approach in view of all past events (Everton and others) is being heeded.
There's the Acts of God and MBORC (Matters Beyond Our Reasonable Control) scenarios that could cause delays but I'm convinced that this plan is gonna happen, and that's saying something, but this time, off and on the park, we have the real deal.
A good result on Sunday would be a massive tonic going into very tough pre-Christmas fixture list. Onwards and upwards, Everton!
57 Posted 25/10/2018 at 21:38:05
I think people worry too much; this WILL happen. The process and preparation for this has to be right and, although we all want it here and now and announcements made etc, think how we would feel if we rushed this and it all went tits up because due diligence had not been undertaken.
This is a £500+ million pound project that needs to be done right. Have patience and when it comes to fruition, which it will, then we can enjoy literally rubbing it in the faces of the Mordor Mob!
58 Posted 25/10/2018 at 21:51:07
Spurs are jumping from 38k to 60k plus. Why are we not targeting new fans? It's a tourist attraction, I am sure there are many of the thousands of students living in the city who would want to take in a game at the biggest stadium in the city by the water.
There are lots of ways to target new customers. Them lot across the park have just secured a license to stage events. Building a 52,000 seater guarantees they will make money on non-matchdays when we should be. That's part of the bigger picture and if we don't act big we won't be big.
5 years back, we were as big as Spurs; by 2025, we could be 20 years behind them. Call this negative but I don't care, mate – as a lifelong Evertonian, I know what level we need to reach to call ourselves big again. Spurs are looking to be as big as Arsenal and going for it properly.
60 Posted 25/10/2018 at 22:15:08
However, I'm sure that it'll only be built the once. Therefore, I think it only makes sense to make maximum use of the site to deliver a stadium with as large a capacity as possible, whether that is 55k, 58k, 60k or more.
61 Posted 25/10/2018 at 22:24:11
62 Posted 25/10/2018 at 22:30:14
I think the new stadium design will include plenty of brick which I think would look good now and stand the test of time.
This quote below from one of the suppliers to the Lucas Oil stadium is not far off what I expect to read in our planning submission:
"The brick precast concrete facade was chosen to tie-in with the historic downtown Indianapolis garment district brick buildings and is a sympathetic nod to the design of venerable collegiate football stadia and fieldhouses across the Midwest."
63 Posted 25/10/2018 at 23:41:56
What scares the bajeezuz out of me is time. The more it marches on, the closer we get to dark days.
We're a decade past a world-wide economic recession, one that bordered on financial collapse and in some cases still resulted in whole country's economies spiraling down. Ask Greece.
Here in America, the Fed just announced an interest rate hike a few weeks ago (maybe a month, can't recall) and three more interest rate hikes are rumored for 2019.
On a personal note, I recently applied for a $50,000 loan to obtain a new piece of equipment for my small business two days ago. It took only two hours to get approved. This seems good on the surface, but in reality is not. The flow of loans seems to be opening up again as lenders look to place profits on the books through lending, with very little vetting occurring – at least for my business loan. Despite my having stellar credit, surely there should have been more investigation into the lending of such a sum? I didn't even fill out an application. And no, the interest rate wasn't inflated. In fact, it was exceedingly reasonable, and was done through a very "stable" and "established" financial company.
Another personal observation, they're building homes over here like wildfire. The area around my business is an ant farm - homes popping up for $450,000 and being sold in under a month. The city of Jacksonville, Florida where I live near – I often wonder what economy here is so prevalent that can sustain these families? Where do they work? How can they be paid enough to afford these homes? Seems a bit fishy on the surface to these eyes. And that $450k price may seem small to Americans in New York, Boston, DC, San Francisco, and LA. But the cost of living here is so, so much less.
I realize Goodison Park is an ocean away, but the cousins that are America and the UK are in lock-step. What occurs here economically often is mirrored in clone-like fashion over there. If any other country in the world looked cross-eyed at the UK, America would respond immediately. We are interwoven at the core, our two countries. Surely economics are as well?
I'm not sure how the next economic crash / correction will occur, or when. But I've a sneaky suspicion it's not too far away.
If that day comes in the next 5 or so years, and costs escalate with inflation, unemployment, and frighteningly another round of bank bailouts? What then of our project?
Prudence is clearly the path when you're talking about sums of this magnitude.
But I'd not dally. The economy can turn on a dime. And from my personal experience and observations, people and companies are borrowing more and more with each passing year.
I just hope this project is completed and done before the next economic disaster. I'm not intelligent enough to know what will cause it, or when it will happen. But I think it's coming.
The Boogey-Man is in the closet. The name of the closet is Wall Street. And that closet door could easily open before the new stadium project is finished.
And it does scare me.
64 Posted 26/10/2018 at 05:18:36
65 Posted 26/10/2018 at 08:04:08
66 Posted 26/10/2018 at 09:10:58
Empty seats didn't stop Man City winning the title or looking to expand which they are going to do. There must be a good reason they want the Etihad bigger.
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