Built in 1883, the derelict Victorian hydraulic tower at Bramley Moore Dock will be transformed into a heritage centre as part of Everton’s £500m new stadium plan. Tony McDonough reports
Everton Football Club has revealed more details about its plans to turn the derelict Victorian hydraulic tower close to its new stadium site into a heritage centre and cafe.
Work on the club’s £500m arena at Bramley Moore Dock in Liverpool Waters is set to begin in the coming weeks after the club secured the go-ahead from Liverpool City Council and the Government.
It has applied for Listed Building Consent for the 138-year-old Grade II-listed tower and seek permission for works to make the building weather-tight and structurally sound. This includes new openings to allow for a functional layout for the intended use of the building.
Everton says the tower will become part of the stadium’s Fan Plaza and house an exhibition or cultural centre celebrating Everton’s rich heritage, as well as that of the city’s docklands. A café area is also proposed as part of the renovation.
Its application, which proposes extensive repairs to the long-standing vacant building to prevent further degradation, states the restoration of the tower would be “both sympathetic to its past, but sustainable for its future”. It would adhere to the heritage principals governing development of the docklands area.
Potentially working in collaboration with fans, partners and stakeholders, the club would lead the project to deliver an attraction that will allow the story of Everton’s illustrious history and that of the docklands to be told on the site of the club’s new 52,888-capacity home.
The council’s planning committee voted to approve the application for a new stadium on the site and to change the use of the Hydraulic Tower but Listed Building Consent is required for all works of alteration to a building of special architectural or historic interest.
The tower, built in 1883, was originally used to power dock infrastructure, and was part of a high-level railway system which connected to and served the docks, but has long since fallen into disrepair. Its engine house has previously been demolished and the chimney reduced in height, with all the original equipment having also been removed.
Everton expects a decision from Liverpool City Council on its Listed Building Consent application in the coming months and is separate to any enabling works activity that may take place on-site in relation to the stadium.