Huge public feedback on Everton FC’s plans for a £500m stadium in Liverpool’s docklands and legacy projects around its current Goodison home. Tony McDonough reports
More than 63,000 people in the Liverpool city region have take part in the public consultation into Everton FC’s plans for a new £500m waterfront stadium and legacy projects.
The first stage consultation into the “People’s Project’ drew more than 20,000 responses, a figure that pleased the club. Now another 43,000-plus have offered their views during the second stage.
Everton is planning to move out of its current stadium at Goodison Park in Walton and move into a new arena at Bramley Moore Dock in Liverpool Waters in time for the 2023-24 Premier League season. They also plan a number of legacy projects to be created in Walton.
The latest response, double that of the first stage public consultation, makes The People’s Project the largest commercial public consultation in the city of Liverpool’s history and one of the largest ever held in the UK. It has been hailed as exemplar by leading experts in civic engagement, sports business and marketing.
The results from the second stage consultation, which will be released in November, will be used by the stadium development team to further refine the club’s plans and form part of the planning applications for both Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park. The club remains on-track to submit both applications before the end of 2019.
Under ‘The People’s Project’ brand the Club held their public consultation in two stages – November/December 2018 and July/August 2019 – generating the huge response from fans and residents from across Liverpool city region and beyond, all offering their thoughts on the Club’s ambitious plans.
The first stage public consultation saw 20,168 people respond, with 94% of people agreeing that Bramley-Moore Dock was an appropriate site for the new stadium and 95% backing Everton’s plans for a community-led led legacy at Goodison Park.
During July and August, 43,039 people took part in the second stage public consultation, which included a 19-day roadshow, visiting nine locations across all six Liverpool city region boroughs.
The consultation focused on the designs for a new 52,000 capacity stadium and the plans for transport, heritage and the environment as part of the project. The consultation also outlined design proposals for a community-led legacy project on the site of Everton’s current Goodison Park home.
The roadshow events were attended by more than 15,000 people and included a popular virtual reality experience giving users a chance to fly over the new stadium and place themselves in the centre circle and home stand on matchdays.
Colin Chong, Everton’s stadium development director said: “The interest and enthusiasm for the People’s Project has resulted in an unprecedented response to the consultation. We’re grateful to the thousands of Evertonians, fans of other clubs and people that don’t have an interest in football who took part and shared their views with us.
“We have been busy working our way through the tens of thousands of comments and ideas and analysing the results which will inform our proposals as we progress to submitting our planning applications before the end of the year.”