Discourse on Anfield expansion begins



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Liverpool Football Club has taken the account of Anfield Road Stan expansion Image: KSS / Liverpool FC

First-stage public consultation to the Anfield Road Stand expansion has begun and feedback has been sought until midnight of December 13 online and via traditional mail. Once the detailed plans are available, a second stage public consultation will begin in the early part of 2020. The public events are being held in the Kop Bar at Anfield.

As part of this exercise, the perspective of the local community, local businesses, supporters and key stakeholders will be taken into account by the Liverpool Football Club. Anfield Stadium is in Liverpool, England, and is the home of Liverpool Football Club.

The support of Liverpool Football Club fans is not a cause of worry because they are sure to support. What is worrisome is to convince local residents to come on board. Liverpool Football Club learnt it the hard way last year when they sought permission to organize summer concerts without consulting the local people who were later livid about the same.

“I think it is clear we didn’t perhaps perform a consultation for the concerts as well as we could have done, and we are always looking to improve. I think we did a really good job on the main stand and the objective here is to run the best consultation process that we can,” said the Chief Operating Officer of Liverpool Football Club, Andy Hughes.

The aim behind the project is to make Anfield Stadium bigger to enable more and more supporters to enjoy the best of Europe’s live football in a futuristic facility right in the heart of Liverpool.

As part of the public consultation exercise, drop-in events are being hosted by the club so that the early-stage plans for the stand expansion of the venue can be shared.

The plans are in early design development and the public viewpoint at the drop-in sessions will help Liverpool FC to make informed decisions as the plans for the stand move forward. The club wants the best of solution for the stand expansion plan.

The current proposals envisage adding 7,000 seats to the Anfield Road Stand, the majority of which will be general admission. Sports bar/lounge hospitality will be on offer.

If the expansion plans get a go-ahead, the overall capacity of the Anfield Stadium would go up to more than 61,000. The new proposals are in harmony with the previously consented scheme. Though a major part of Anfield Road will remain open for residents and businesses, a short stretch of the road between Skerries and 96 Avenue would remain closed. Wayfarers and cyclists would get access around the proposed expanded Anfield Road Stand.

Remarks Andy, “For any expansion to the Anfield Road Stand to go ahead we need certainty on three key areas. Firstly, that we are able to reach agreement with local residents, businesses and community groups that they will allow the expansion plan to take place, which will mean closing a short section of Anfield Road between 96 Avenue and Skerries Road.”

“Secondly, that we have the right sustainable financial and economic model in place to deliver a long-term sustainable Anfield. And lastly, that we are able to successfully navigate the complex planning landscape. We need to be satisfied on all three points for work to proceed,” he asserts.

Andy further explains, “We are working towards creating an expanded Anfield Road Stand which will see around 7,000 additional seats behind the north goal. The majority of these seats will be for general admission use and we expect some seats will be allocated for a sports bar/lounge-type hospitality in order to ensure the economic viability of the expansion. Further profiling is needed and we expect to provide more detail at the second-stage consultation early next year.

“These first-stage consultation sessions we are holding are crucial as they will be used to inform the design proposals we are developing, which in turn will help us to make a decision on whether to proceed with the expansion as a whole,” he further explains.

The Anfield Road Stand expansion also seeks opportunity to hold concerts and other major events at Anfield on a permanent basis. Permission is also being sought to hold events like Gaelic games and American football apart from match days.

In addition, there will be a project information pod in place on Anfield Road car park on December 4 from 5pm until 8 pm at Liverpool’s encounter with Everton.

Two massive tiers with new away section and few corporate seats would correspond in terms of size to the new, large main stand.

Earlier this year, the previous planning permission for the new north stand was allowed to lapse by Liverpool FC. That outline permission would have seen a new Anfield Road Stand with extra 4,800.

Around £60 million (€70m) is the budget for the Anfield Road Stand expansion work. However, with nothing clear on the Brexit issue, there might be further hike in the budget later into the planning/construction process. It’s understood that Liverpool Fan Club will handle the project via its existing banking facilities.

A challenge is the planning permission, which sometimes is a time-consuming process in England. Therefore, the consultation process will have to be foolproof so that there is no room for public outcry later.

If everything goes as per track, Anfield will take a new look, making the
Kop, which was once the highlight of the arena, the smallest grandstand of the entire stadium.
 

Training Center

Recently, Liverpool FC released new visuals of the KSS-designed training center in Kirkby, UK, as progress continues ahead of completion next summer.

The avant-garde training center will bring together for the first time Liverpool’s First Team and Academy operations The new, multifunctional building will feature a range of media, football operations and specialist training facilities, including an extensive hydrotherapy complex, gymnasiums, medical, sports rehabilitation suites and various relaxation facilities. It will provide a healthy ambience and a sound mind and body to elite athletes.

KSS Chairman David Keirle said, “It is really exciting to see the progress being made on site. Our designs for this training facility reflect the identity and ambition of Liverpool FC. They provide a clear, aspirational pathway to the first team, whilst retaining the requirement for each player to earn the right to progress to every level. The extensive use of natural light, together with a cool, restrained material palette will deliver a relaxed but motivational interior, which will be unmistakably Liverpool.”

After the glulam beam was installed early this year, the complex has started taking shape. The external brick work has been completed and work is progressing at a fast pace on the interior of the building. It is expected that the training center construction will be completed in 2020.

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