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Blues to bring £1bn investment boost to North Liverpool

AMBITIOUS plans for Everton’s new stadium promise to completely regenerate North Liverpool and bring a £1bn boost to the local economy — including a construction college, an exhibition centre and a promenade that will eventually connect Bramley Moore Dock to Speke, in the south.

Hailed as The People’s Project, the proposals will deliver nearly £800m of “societal value” over a 10-year period — which is similar to what the Liverpool One shopping complex has brought to the city since 2008, while around 1.4million visitors are expected each year.
An Everton Football Club representative told the Scottie Press that Kirkdale and Vauxhall will be the “immediate benefactors” of the massive scheme.

“This is the next development that’s really going to change Liverpool,” said Mo Maghazachi, Everton’s senior press manager, adding that he believes this is an opportunity to bring investment into north Liverpool and have a positive impact on the entire area.

“It’s probably fair to say it has been quite imbalanced, in terms of the development that’s taken place in the city. The south has benefitted massively – but there’s an argument to say north Liverpool has not. There’s also an argument to say it has kind of been neglected. We have got an opportunity to make a transformational difference and that’s what this stadium will do.”

The stadium will bring 15,000 jobs into the area, 80% of which will be through construction, with the remaining 20% of jobs involved in maintenance of the area. Mr Maghazachi told how developer’s contracts have provisions to include opportunities for local apprentices.

A new construction college, developed by Everton in the Community, will also encourage young people to take up apprenticeships. It is not yet confirmed whether the proposed education facility will be located near Bramley Moore Dock, or be set up within current Everton-owned buildings.

EFC Captain Séamus Coleman revealed how excited he is about the opportunities the new stadium will bring to the area, stressing that the club has a “genuine care” for the community.

“As footballers we can be selfish and just look at the stadium and think, ‘It would be great to play there’, “ said Seamus. “But Everton’s impact on the community has grown massively year on year since I came to the club. The genuine care and concern they have for the people of the community is brilliant. This stadium will generate money and create jobs. It will be amazing.”
During construction — and afterwards — the site will have a green energy focus, using green materials, ground source heat pumps, solar panels and turbines to create renewable energy.

As part of the construction phase, Bramley Moore Dock will have historic features restored — including forgotten tramlines, cobbles, capstones and a hydraulic tower, which will be transformed into an exhibition and cultural centre which will be open all year round.
The centre will give visitors a unique insight into the history of Everton and the docks. And, even more excitingly for the city as a whole, it is planned to become the starting point of a proposed promenade that will connect the entirety of Liverpool’s famous waterfront.
“In theory you could walk from the hydraulic tower right the way down to our waterfront offices (at the Liver Buildings), right through to Speke and Garston via the Otterspool promenade,” Mr Maghazachi said. “There is a real opportunity to connect our waterfront and begin to break down the barriers of north and south Liverpool.”

Another exciting feature of The People’s Project will see Goodison Park converted into community assets, and £10m has already been spent converting derelict land and buildings into projects like the People’s Hub and the Blue Base.
Mr Maghazachi says this will create a legacy for Everton in its soon-to-be former ground. He admitted that although the Blues will be moving to L3, its heart and soul will remain in L4.
“Instead of it being a football stadium that gets used once or twice a month, we will put housing on there that will compliment the area, plus education facilities and a youth zone that looks at getting young people off the street and thinking positively,” he said – adding that the ideas have come from engagement with local people.

By regularly engaging with locals, the club has discovered a need for a mental health service in L4. However, unlike the formal settings of a hospital, which may deter people from opening up, Mr Maghazachi believes the “power of the badge” will comfort those who are suffering.

“What we find is that people actually trust the power of the badge, the football club, more than they might do their own clinicians,” he said. “And they might just want somewhere to talk that isn’t their hospital.”

“It will be catering for people who might be suffering from low level anxiety but just don’t know where to turn or where to go. Or, heaven forbid, it might be people who are a threat to their own life and who might have mental health issues that are a lot more serious. In those situations we can guide them to the right place and to the right level of care.”

If planning permission is granted in summer 2020, work will begin onsite immediately after that and could see the stadium completed by 2023. And if manager Carlo Ancelotti’s recent comments are anything to go by, it could be a major incentive to keep him at the club.
“The ambition and idea is to stay longer,” said Ancelotti. “The club is going to build a new stadium, which is really important. And, hopefully in the new stadium, with all the crowd singing my song. This is the dream.”