Next week Liverpool FC will break ground on the £60m expansion of its Anfield Road stand in a project that will take the famous stadium’s capacity beyond 61,000. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool FC will start work on the £60m expansion of its Anfield Road stand next week, a project that will take the total stadium capacity to 61,000.
The club secured planning consent for the scheme in June, despite some concerns raised by residents and local councillors about the loss of trees in Stanley Park. Liverpool says it will hold an official ground-breaking ceremony in the next few days.
Expected to take 18 months, the scheme will take spending by Liverpool FC’s owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), on the world famous stadium up to £170m after they invested £110m to rebuild the main stand, a job completed in 2016. FSG also spent £50m on a new first team training ground at Kirkby to replace Melwood.
Enabling works have been going on throughout the off-season in anticipation of the start of construction. The redevelopment of the stand will see 7,000 more seats added to Anfield.
The construction will work in the same way as the redeveloped Main Stand, with the build taking place throughout the season while matches continue to be played throughout. Anfield Road will be rerouted around the footprint of the new stand.
Andy Hughes, managing director of Liverpool FC, said: “We have been clear from the beginning that in order for this expansion to go ahead we needed the co-operation of local residents and the community, to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape, and to ensure the project is financially viable.
“We needed certainty for this project to progress and are now in a position to be able to move forward. We began this journey in 2014 and are grateful to everyone for the contributions they have made to bring the project to this stage.”
Liverpool FC has also secured planning permission to hold up to six concerts and major events at the stadium for a period of five seasons. It will work with Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd (Buckingham) as principal contractor on the project.
Buckingham will work directly with the club’s Red Neighbours initiative on a range of activities with the local community and schools in line with the club’s current activities across food poverty, education and opportunities for young people, as well as taking the local community on the journey of the stand’s redevelopment.
They will also work with local employment groups and education establishments to offer work experience, apprenticeships, graduate placements and employment to local people. Buckingham is committed to offering around 35 work placements and more than 800 apprentice and training weeks across the build.
When complete, the expanded Anfield Road Stand is expected to create around 400 matchday roles in addition to the 2,200 people currently employed in various operations at each home game, of which 95% are known to live in the Liverpool city region.
The redeveloped Anfield Road Stand is anticipated to be ready for the 2023-24 season and its design will see the lower tier retained and refurbished with a new upper tier built above it.
As well as an increased capacity, the redeveloped stand will be similar to the Main Stand, with improved concourses and sports bar lounge hospitality facilities. This stand will also see the relocation of the Family Park to a covered position.