I hope this update finds you well as we all look forward to the 2021/22 season.
With the Club taking possession of the Bramley-Moore Dock site today (Monday, 26 July), I wanted to get in touch with an update on some of the activities taking place in the coming weeks and how we plan to keep you updated on our progress.
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your support over the past few years. While it has not been an easy or quick process to secure planning permission, we simply would not have reached this momentous point without the backing of Evertonians and the support of the people of our city region.
I am proud of our achievements to date and grateful to the Board and Mr Moshiri for their continued commitment and investment in our Club’s future. It is an honour to be leading a dedicated project team of Everton staff who, like me, are delighted to receive the keys for the site and, alongside Laing O’Rourke, begin the process of building a stadium Evertonians will call ‘home’ for generations to come.
While this is a significant occasion for our Club, I would urge supporters not to attempt to access the site. There is – and will continue to be – a lot of heavy goods vehicles arriving delivering plant equipment and supplies. There will be no public access through the gates at Bramley-Moore Dock and the health and safety of everyone on-site is a priority.
In the coming weeks, we will be installing a web camera allowing you to see live images of what is happening at the site. In addition to the webcam we will also soon be launching a new project website which will house all our latest news and which will act as the portal for any questions you may have for us.
This next phase in our development is known as ‘enabling works’ – preparing the dock site in readiness for the build. A process that will take several weeks.
Part of this enabling work includes putting in place staff welfare facilities – and these will be extensive as our new stadium project is likely to be the biggest single-site private sector development in the country. There could be as many as 12,000 people working throughout the build phase.
While the infilling of the dock is still some weeks away, we have been repairing the dock wall which will be preserved underneath our new stadium. We have also carried out several surveys beneath the water in the dock, including an unexploded ordinance survey and I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear that so far there is nothing in there that concerns us!!
Our next steps for the dock are to ensure we carefully remove and rehome any wildlife and other organisms in the water before we begin infilling the dock with sand from the Mersey estuary in the autumn.
The demolition of the existing non-listed structures is also still some weeks away but we need to make sure we have cleared the buildings of any unrequired materials and finalised our site clearance and demolition plans.
It is our intention that we’ll be formally breaking ground on the eastern quayside in the early part of August.
Preserving, restoring and celebrating heritage
There has been a lot of talk about heritage this week, but we have been clear throughout our planning that respecting and enhancing heritage has always been one of our key principles.
Our commitment to bringing the dock’s heritage features to life has not changed and we will be investing more than £55m to preserve, restore and celebrate the heritage assets at Bramley-Moore Dock. Indeed, this process has started already by repairing the listed dock wall and, in the coming days, we’ll begin stabilising the hydraulic tower.
Once construction is complete we will be opening the inaccessible site up to the public for the first time in decades – allowing people to appreciate its heritage.
As you may be aware, the hydraulic tower will become a visitor centre on both match and non-matchdays and we’ll be retaining the cobbles, capstans, mooring posts, gratings and railways lines and where possible incorporating them into our design.
The water channel that visually connects the neighbouring docks will be retained in honour of Jessie Hartley’s interconnecting dock system and, with the dock walls preserved under the stadium, should we ever move from this site in the future, the site could actually be reverse-engineered back into a dock.
Keeping updated on our progress
I mentioned how crucial your involvement has been so far and I want to reiterate how crucial it will also be going forward. We will continue working with supporter groups to ensure all aspects of our plans are built around our fans' hopes and expectations and we will be contacting all our supporters with details about ticketing timelines and processes in the next few months.
From next month our new website will become your first port of call for news and information about our progress and we will be sending you regular e-newsletters and publishing podcasts from the autumn.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the start of the 2021/22 season as we begin the formal countdown to our move to our new home on the banks of the Mersey.