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Everton FC granted permission to move forward with stadium development

By Tom Anstey    16 Sep 2014
Everton has been seeking a move from Goodison Park for a number of years / Shutterstock.com

Everton Football Club can move forward with plans to build a new stadium in Liverpool park, according to the city’s council which described the project as a “catalyst” to spark regeneration in the nearby area.

The proposed 50,000-seat stadium to replace Goodison Park – Everton’s home since 1892 – will be built alongside commercial and retail developments, although a statement from Everton chair Bill Kenwright said the plans are “still at a very early stage with a wide number of factors to be developed.” He added that the club is: “eager to engage with local residents before any major decisions are made.”

The stadium is expected to cost somewhere in the region of £200m (US$323.6m, €250m), part-funded by the sale of Goodison Park and a naming rights deal, but the club did not reveal how any financial shortfall would be made up.

“The council is going to put some money in and that will be around regeneration, not directly into the football club or stadium, without getting a financial or commercial return,” said city mayor Joe Anderson, who added that keeping the football club within the city limits and seeing it contribute to the regeneration of the local area is important from both an economic and cultural standpoint.

Everton has been looking for a move from Goodison Park for some time now, with plans originally announced in 2006 to build a stadium in Kirby as part of a wider £400m (US$647.4m, €500m) regeneration of the area. However, those plans were called into question in 2008 and eventually scrapped.

The previous plans fell through when then-communities secretary John Denham decided that the move would breach shopping policy, which discourages major supermarket chains from taking business away from town and city centres.

The initial scheme would have also included new retail outlets, restaurants, a hotel and office space.

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