16 September 2014 09:32
Everton and Liverpool City Council have announced they are looking at plans for the club to move to a new stadium at Walton Hall Park.
The proposed new ground would replace Goodison Park – Everton’s home since 1892 – and form part of a wider regeneration project in the area.
The site for the development is around a mile to the north-east of the club’s current home, which is described as “the first major football stadium built in England”.
But chairman Bill Kenwright believes the chance to relocate is too good to miss.
“An opportunity to explore the possibility of securing the new home we’ve looked for, for so long, is hugely exciting to me, but to do that in a way that supports, transforms and sustains our local communities, in our Everton heartland, is such a wonderful, added bonus,” he said in statement. “It would fill me with great pride.
“It could be something very special for our city, the residents of North Liverpool and all Evertonians – a new home that goes beyond football and does what Everton does better than anyone else.
“Of course, there’s an enormous amount of work to do – that again, involves fixing a huge financial jigsaw – but we are certain it’s an opportunity we should pursue with great commitment, endeavour and ambition.
“Like all Evertonians, I love Goodison Park and have done since the day I first set foot in the Boy’s Pen but the prospect of developing a new stadium, and a new and vibrant community, just down the road from us, is to be grasped and encouraged.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson added: “I am really pleased that we have identified this exciting opportunity for North Liverpool. We know that this is an area of the city that requires substantial investment and this project could bring this in a unique form.
“Everton’s investment into this area would be the catalyst for a development which could make a real difference.”
The partners in the proposed project, which also include Liverpool Mutual Homes and Everton in the Community, will now meet to discuss ideas for the site in collaboration with the local community, with a view to a planning application being submitted in the next 12 months.
Previous plans to move Everton out of Liverpool to nearby Kirkby were met with objections from a large section of the club’s fanbase.