Everton have unveiled ambitious plans to redevelop Goodison Park into affordable housing, a health centre and community schemes that they believe will help regenerate north Liverpool when they move into their new Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium.
The Premier League club have submitted a planning application for the Goodison Park Legacy Project, an attempt to turn their home of 128 years into something that will give the area a lasting boost.
Together with Bramley-Moore, which is due to be completed in 2023, they hope it will bring a £1 billion (Dh4.5bn) windfall to the Merseyside economy, creating 15,000 jobs, 12,000 of them in construction, bringing 1.4 million visitors to the city on an annual basis and delivering £237 million of benefits to the economy every year.
Plans have been shaped by local residents and the community with more than 63,000 responses during public consultation and 92 per cent of those surveyed responding positively to Everton’s plans, which they have dubbed “the People’s Project.”
Everton hope the redeveloped Goodison Park will include residential areas with up to 173 houses and flats, 4,700 square metres of office facilities, a health centre, retail outlets and a youth-enterprise zone to encourage business start-ups.
Another option is for accommodation and care facilities for people with special needs as Everton look to build on the work of their charity, Everton in the Community.
Everton chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “Everton is a football club deeply rooted in its community and the Goodison Park Legacy Project is a symbol of our ambition, desire and commitment to Liverpool 4.
“We’ve been delighted by the support of the local community to our plans and the acknowledgement that we are creating facilities to empower and equip local people for generations to come.
“This project at Goodison Park is as ambitious as our new stadium development at Bramley-Moore Dock and will build on the £10 million investment in buildings already made by the club and Everton in the Community in Liverpool 4 over the last five years.”
Planning applications for both Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park should be heard later this summer as Everton are considering a green space which could showcase their achievements at their historic home.
Since Goodison Park was opened in 1892, Everton have been champions of England eight times, FA Cup winners five times and European Cup Winners’ Cup winners in 1985.
Goodison Park also staged five games in the 1966 World Cup, including the semi-final between West Germany and the Soviet Union. Everton are looking to retain the centre circle of the current ground, potentially with a memorial, while the statue of the club’s record goalscorer Dixie Dean is likely to remain at Goodison Park, with the club considering how to mark his achievements at the new ground.
Bramley-Moore Dock, which is set to hold 52,288 people, is on the waterfront north of Liverpool city centre and is scheduled to cost £500 million.
Meanwhile, Everton are attempting to ensure no staff are furloughed during the coronavirus crisis though no formal announcement has been made.