More than 20,000 questionnaires were completed and 94% of respondents agreed Bramley-Moore Dock was an appropriate location for the club’s proposed arena. Tony McDonough reports
Everton FC’s proposed £500m new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock has been give overwhelming public backing in one of the biggest public consultations ever held in Liverpool.
The club wants to leave Goodison Park and kick off in its new home at the northern docklands site, part of Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters project, in time for the start of the 2023/24 Premier League season. Everton is also planning a number of community projects in and around the Goodison Park site in the Walton area of Liverpool.
During the public consultation 20,168 questionnaires were completed, one of the largest ever responses to a public consultation exercise for a commercial development proposal in the city’s history.
In data released on Tuesday it was revealed that 94% of respondents agreed Bramley-Moore Dock was an appropriate location for the club’s proposed stadium, while 95% agreed Goodison Park should be developed to benefit the community.
Just under 2,000 (1,919) respondents described themselves as non-Everton supporters, with three out of four supporting the club’s plans for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore dock, which is expected to have an initial capacity of 52,000.
Strong support for the proposals was recorded among all demographic groups and across all geographic locations. Near universal support from everyone consulted, 97%, was shown for the club remaining in the city of Liverpool.
And 95% also agreed the developed Bramley-Moore Dock is a suitable location for other sporting, music or cultural events.
Everton chief executive, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, said: “These results are more than a vote of confidence in our plans; they show people recognise the transformational impact our stadium will have on North Liverpool and indeed the positive effect it will have on the wider city region.
“A new stadium will unlock a unique opportunity for our city region by delivering a £1bn boost to the economy, 15,000 jobs and an estimated 1.5m new visitors to the city as well as the regeneration of North Liverpool, including a community-led legacy at Goodison Park.”
Alongside the quantitative data, the exercise yielded a large volume of qualitative commentary, observations and ideas. Every comment has been read and will be used to help shape planning applications for both the arena and legacy developments.
Colin Chong, Everton’s stadium development director, added: “We set out with the objective of understanding what the people of the city region thought of the principles of our plans.
“The response has been fantastic and we’ve received an overwhelming endorsement from the people that the underlying principles of our approach meet with their approval.”