Professor Michael Parkinson said plans for Everton FC’s £500m arena in Liverpool’s docklands was the ‘missing piece in the jigsaw’ of the city’s regeneration. Tony McDonough reports
One of Liverpool city region’s foremost experts on urban regeneration says Everton’s new £500m stadium will be the “missing piece in the jigsaw” of Liverpool’s renaissance.
Everton FC has submitted a detailed planning application for the proposed arena at Bramley Moore Dock in Liverpool’s northern docklands. The site is located within Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme.
Professor Michael Parkinson, Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Civic Engagement at the University of Liverpool said the plans represented a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for the city.
Back in the 1980s he was the author of Liverpool on the Brink – an analysis of the parlous economic state of the city at that time, squeezed between the ideologies of Thatcherism and the hard left. He has recently published his follow-up, Liverpool Beyond the Brink – the Remaking of a Post-Imperial City, which chronicles the city’s regeneration and ongoing challenges.
He claims the ‘The People’s Project’, Everton’s plans for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and a community-led legacy at Goodison Park will make a “major contribution to the city’s world-famous waterfront”.
“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,” said Prof Parkinson.
“That’s beginning to happen – with Liverpool One, Liverpool2, 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, added: “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.”