The People’s Project, Everton’s plans for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and a community-led legacy at Goodison Park is a ‘missing piece in the jigsaw’ of Liverpool’s regeneration and will make a ‘major contribution to the city’s world-famous waterfront’, experts have claimed.
Commenting on Everton Football Club’s planning application to build a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, Professor Michael Parkinson, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Civic Engagement at the University of Liverpool, said the plans were a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for the city.
Professor Parkinson, author of Liverpool Beyond the Brink – which chronicles the city’s regeneration and ongoing challenges – said the plans would allow North Liverpool to enjoy a share of the city’s regeneration.
Professor Parkinson said: “If you look at what the city has done in the last 30 years it’s been brilliant – we did the waterfront, the city centre and South Liverpool, but we really didn’t do North Liverpool.
“That’s beginning to happen – with Liverpool ONE, Liverpool 2, the Titanic Hotel and the Ten Streets project. The stadium is the piece in the jigsaw that would make it really happen – and mean North Liverpool would get its fair share [of regeneration] in the way that other areas have over the last 20 years.
“Regeneration will happen but if you bookend it with a project of this scale, this significance and this quality it will guarantee regeneration and, most importantly, speed it up. A development of this quality will set the bar for what happens in that area of the city for the next decade.”
The plans will also provide a major boon to the development of Liverpool’s waterfront, according to Sue Grindrod, who is credited with maintaining the Royal Albert Dock’s status as the North West’s most visited free tourist attraction
Sue, Chair of Liverpool Waterfront Business Partnership and the former Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Dock, said: “The waterfront is a great international visual that people recognise and having Bramley-Moore Dock developed will only add to that.
“The ongoing regeneration of Liverpool’s waterfront is absolutely crucial, not only for the city but for the entire City Region and its economy. We’ve seen the regeneration of the docks – like the Royal Albert Dock – and we’ve seen the new museum come onto the waterfront. That journey must continue and it’s great to see the stadium be part of that story.
“It’s really important because it’s about having a mix of uses. What we’ve found is that there are barriers to enjoying the waterfront – it’s not always accessible to the populations we serve. We want to see those communities really enjoy the waterfront and a stadium gives them another reason to come.”
Commenting on the economic boost which the stadium plans would provide, Professor Parkinson backed the stadium as too good an opportunity for the city to miss.
He said: “I think it’s desperately important, because we’ve had two or three critical projects in the last 30 years which have defined the development of the city for a long period. We’re looking for the next £1bn impact project – and I think this is it. I don’t see another project of this scale and if it didn’t happen it would be a tremendous loss because the city needs another step.
“We have done very well in the last 20 years, but we’re still too small an economy. This is a direct contributor. Quite apart from the physical regeneration of North Liverpool and the advantage it will bring for Everton, there is a direct economic benefit to the people of Liverpool.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. A huge investment at that location at this point in time is enormously significant.”