THE Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has announced plans to invest up to £45m to support the “transformational regeneration” of large parts of north Liverpool and south Sefton by supporting work linked to the development of Everton FC’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Local leaders will consider a grant of up to £15m to assist with infrastructure work to public space and heritage sites on the land around Bramley-Moore. This would include preserving historic features, restoring derelict land, and providing public access to the docks.
The Combined Authority will also consider a loan of up to £30m towards the overall project to build the club’s new 52,888-seat stadium. The wider stadium project will be a vital catalyst for regeneration of Liverpool’s north docks and the area around Goodison Park. Everton forecast the project will offer a boost of more than £1bn to the city region’s economy, attract 1.4m visitors to the region each year and deliver an additional £237m of social value.
The Combined Authority’s funding would come with conditions – including that Everton commit to targets for employment and training opportunities for local residents and the achievement of social value.
As well as providing jobs and apprenticeships and stimulating the area’s regeneration, the loan would offer a return on investment, plus interest that could be used to fund other projects and services across the city region.
The stadium will take around three years to build and will become one of the north of England’s largest construction projects. Overall, the project will create up to 15,000 jobs including new roles at the completed stadium and employment linked to a projected increase in visitors to the city region.
The stadium move will also kickstart the Goodison Legacy Project which will redevelop the club’s existing ground into a mix of housing, retail, office space and facilities for the community.
As part of the deal, Everton will lead on campaigns focusing on chronic health issues in north Liverpool. Increased funding for the club’s charity, Everton in the Community, will allow an expansion of its work in education, training, employment, youth projects, reducing crime and violence, supporting asylum seekers and veterans and health and wellbeing.
After moving to the new stadium, Everton will redevelop Goodison Park as part of a project which alone is forecast to create more than £58.2m worth of social value, driven by increased wellbeing in the area. Outline planning consent has already been granted and the club is committed to starting work on the Goodison site within three years of moving to Bramley-Moore Dock.
The grant would help cover the higher cost of developing a challenging and historic dockland site and would fund work of a non-commercial nature.