Everton Chief Executive Officer, Robert Elstone, provides an update on the Club's stadium project.
The Club has invested considerably into the new stadium project over the past 12 months and I’m pleased to report we have made progress on many fronts.
You will know we recently secured the Bramley Moore Dock site. Meis has presented the Club with outline concept designs. Cost consultants have prepared estimates. Planners are ready to kick off the planning application. And, we are moving ever nearer to securing a significant proportion of the funding we will need to build the stadium.
After careful consideration of several sites, over recent years, a clear winner emerged and whilst the cost and related preparatory works add a one-fifth premium to the cost of the Bramley Moore Dock site, we believe that the commercial returns from naming rights, sponsorship, higher attendances and greater use on non-matchdays will recoup that premium. We are incredibly excited about the opportunities for us at Bramley Moore Dock.
From the outset, we have prioritised ‘an intimate and atmospheric home’ and ‘a fortress that opponents fear and respect’. Your informal feedback has endorsed this and informed the concept designs prepared by Meis needed to secure a reliable estimate of the project’s total cost and, ultimately, our funding target.
That funding target has escalated significantly and has occupied much of our efforts of the past 12 months. The premium for the waterfront site, an ambitious capacity that we will test with more rigour, a design we can all be proud of and the simple but painful impact of inflation, have all contributed to an increased overall cost and a funding target which continues to grow.
It’s a challenge that has always had the full support of Liverpool City Council and throughout 2017, we have been totally committed to finding a funding arrangement that works for the Club and the City. We have needed to be patient as we work together to ensure the ‘checks and balances’ that underpin such a deal are in place and whilst we ‘detoured’ temporarily pursuing the prize of hosting the Commonwealth Games, as we start the new year, both parties feel we are near to agreeing a framework that works.
Once these funding arrangements are secure, we will be able to move forward with more conviction and optimism. Our new home will kick-start the regeneration of North Liverpool and we are proud to be the catalyst for significant numbers of new homes, jobs and infrastructure. The prize for the Club and the City is substantial. Bramley Moore Dock will bring £1bn of private sector investment into the City and introduce our world-famous waterfront to billions of Premier League fans every weekend.
Again, following the sign-off of funding, the priority for the year ahead is to deliver the planning permission required to allow us to begin construction.
It is a process not without challenge. Bramley Moore Dock sits within a World Heritage Site with several historically significant features, and our designs must respect the heritage and culture of the City’s northern docks. Our planning case will be enhanced with impressive legacy plans for our existing home at Goodison Park. Also, firmly on our agenda for 2018, is to bring all fans into the new stadium design process and our plans for Goodison when we leave.
Please register to be involved in this process at evertonfc.com/yourstadium.
Our hope, and our target, is the opening game of the 2022/23 season. Be assured that all our efforts during 2018 will be focused on meeting this challenging but achievable target.
Finally, thank you for all your support on and off the field. The People’s Club will always listen, always put fans first, and always endeavour to meet the aspirations of our forefathers; nil satis nisi optimum.
Happy New Year,