The Chief Executive of Everton Football Club has thanked everyone who has given their views during the second stage of The People’s Project public consultation.
Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale hailed the “incredible” response and enthusiasm from the public across Liverpool City Region to the Club’s proposals for a state-of-the-art 52,000 seater stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and a community-led regeneration project at Goodison Park.
The People’s Project second stage public consultation, held between 26 July and 25 August, ends the formal process which, following evaluation of the public feedback, will lead to the submission of a detailed planning application for Bramley-Moore Dock and an outline planning application for Goodison Park by the end of this year.
For the last month, residents across Merseyside have had the opportunity to visit a series of roadshows across the city region to understand Everton’s latest proposals, as well as being able to experience a stunning VR fly-through of the stadium. At the roadshow, visitors were able to answer a survey on all aspects of both schemes and for anyone who could not attend in person, the exhibition information and survey have been available online. For residents living around Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park a consultation brochure was sent out with a survey that could be returned by freepost.
Chief Executive Officer Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “The response to our second public consultation has been incredible, there has been real interest in the plans and a genuine enthusiasm for what we are proposing from across the city and the wider city region.
“Everyone at Everton is truly grateful to all those who have taken their time to visit the roadshow, fill out the online survey or written in to let us know their thoughts on the Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park legacy proposals.
“Since the start of this project, we have tried to leave no stone unturned in our quest to make this project the very best it can be and from the outset the view of Evertonians and the public has been central to our thinking and planning. We have also always made it clear that The People’s Project is more than the construction of a new home for the Club on the waterfront, but also about helping to unlock other regeneration projects in the area and especially in Liverpool 4.
“We want a stadium that is right for Everton and our supporters, for its dockland setting and for Liverpool City Region, but our ambition is also very much to provide a catalyst for the transformation of north Liverpool, to create something new that sits alongside ours and the city’s rich heritage and something at Goodison Park that is community-led, sustainable and will help Liverpool 4. Through this project we are determined to deliver a significant economic, societal and cultural boost for the entire city region, to create new opportunities, jobs and visitor appeal.
“What has been particularly pleasing is hearing positive comments on our proposals and plans from a wide range of people – not just Everton fans, but fans of other clubs as well as people with little interest in football. We have also held workshops with residents and businesses and met with a huge number of senior political, civic and community leaders.
“Everybody’s views, both on the stadium and the community-led regeneration plans for Goodison Park, are vital in helping us to finalise our planning submissions.
During the consultation the massive economic and social benefits of The People’s Project, which includes building on and expanding the work of the Club’s charity, Everton in The Community, were revealed in two independent reports.
Research carried out by international property consultancy CBRE indicates The People’s Project would deliver a £1bn boost to the city’s economy and the potential for up to 15,000 new jobs and £34m of local income to local families. Annual Council Tax receipts would be boosted by more than £2.2m and there would be an uplift of up to £1.7m in Business Rate income. Finally it’s estimated an additional 1.4 million visitors would be attracted to the city.
A report by RealWorth, socio-economic specialists, estimates that the three elements of The People’s Project will generate £793.4m of societal value between 2024 and 2033, compared to £556m generated solely through Everton in the Community activity, a difference of more than £237m.
Further, new figures have shown that some 145,000 people took part in activities led by Everton in the Community, between May 2018 and June 2019, delivering life-saving and life-changing programmes to some 20,000 vulnerable and under-privileged people.
Earlier this year Michael Heseltine, former Deputy Prime Minister and long-term champion of Liverpool’s regeneration, described the Club’s plans as a ‘golden opportunity to bring lasting change to the north of the city’.
Colin Chong, Everton’s stadium development director, added: “There was a real buzz just over a month ago in anticipation of the proposed stadium design being revealed and I feel confident in saying that expectations of something iconic and distinctive have been met.
“There is no doubt that the input from across the city region and a wide spectrum of people has helped this process and we are very grateful for that. We will continue to seek views and support from fans and stakeholders as we continue this journey that will transform north Liverpool and give the Club a platform for growth on and off the pitch.
“The public consultation may now be over, but we still have much work to do to realise our ambition and to ensure that what we have proposed and what has been asked for, becomes reality.”
The results from the second stage public consultation will be analysed over the next few weeks and fed into the stadium design team before being publicly revealed. The Club remain on track to submit planning applications for both sites before the end of the year.