Everton agrees deal for stadium site

English Premier League football club Everton has agreed heads of terms to acquire a site at Bramley Moore Dock, where it intends to build a new state-of-the-art stadium.

Everton has agreed the deal with developer Peel, which is overseeing the £5bn (€5.8bn/$6.2bn) Liverpool Waters scheme, which Bramley Moore Dock is a part of. The announcement followed detailed negotiations between Everton and Peel, brokered by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.

A report will be presented to Liverpool City Council’s cabinet next week, recommending that the council progress heads of terms to create a new company that will take a lease of the stadium and, in turn, sub-lease it to Everton.

The stadium is expected to cost in excess of £300m, with Everton having confirmed that the project will be “fully funded” by the club.

Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said: “We can now move forward into the next phase of work with much greater confidence. Clearly, it is vital we have clarity on cost and we have to recognise that the stadium will be significantly more expensive at Bramley Moore Dock. To get that certainty, and ensure the stadium is affordable, we need to confirm stadium design, capacity and configuration. And to do that, we need to talk to fans, partners and all stakeholders in the project. We’re committing to that consultation. We’re also committed to keep fans fully informed as the project develops and as other milestones are reached.

“We’re keen to stress not only the scale of the work ahead but also the remaining risks and uncertainties. We’re delighted we’ve secured the site and we’re equally delighted the Mayor is continuing to support our financing model, but significant hurdles remain, not least the preparation and submission of a detailed planning application. Receipt of a successful planning approval at some point early next year will be the most significant step towards bringing the stadium to life.”

Under the proposed agreement, the council would receive an annual security fee payable by the club in return for the council’s participation. Everton said that the council’s support would not impact the future borrowing needs and involves no financial outlay for the council.

Subject to approval being granted by the cabinet, the council will finalise the heads of terms agreement over the next three months. Everton will then be allowed to progress with the preparation of a planning application.

Last May Everton abandoned its plans to build a new stadium on the Walton Hall Park site in Liverpool and turned its attentions to two other brownfield sites in the city – one of which was Bramley Moore Dock.

Everton has long been seeking a new stadium with the cramped environs of Goodison Park, its home since 1892, making it unsuitable for expansion.