‘The Blues’ long road to Bramley-Moore Dock
The Premier League club Everton F.C.’s (UK) long-cherished dream to build a new stadium to replace their present home – Goodison Park – is finally becoming a reality with the club officially breaking ground on the project recently.
The ‘Liverpool Echo’ stated that the momentous occasion was attended by the Everton Chairman, Bill Kenwright, the Chief Executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, and the Players’ Life President, Graeme Sharp, alongside some of the project’s key planning, construction and engineering partners with an Everton branded excavator making the first incision into the Eastern quayside at Bramley-Moore Dock ahead of the building of their 52,888-capacity waterfront home.
The Everton Football Club is an English professional football club based in Liverpool (UK) that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football.
The Goodison Park is a football stadium in the Walton area of Liverpool, England. It has been the home stadium of Premier League club Everton F.C. since its completion in 1892. Located in a residential area two miles North of the Liverpool City Centre, it has an all-seated capacity of 39,414.
The 52,888-capacity Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium is a proposed football stadium by Everton F.C. on the Bramley-Moore Dock in Vauxhall, Liverpool, England. The dock itself was built in 1848. The stadium is proposed to be opened in time for the start of the 2023-2024 Premier League seasons, replacing Goodison Park.
The ‘Liverpool Echo’ further stated that the stadium build is anticipated to be around three years and the Liverpool City Region team told the Central Government last summer that once completed, it will provide a £1billion boost to the local economy, create 15,000 jobs, help attract 1.4m visitors, and act as a catalyst for major change in the Liverpool Waters and Ten Streets parts of the City.
After a generation of failed projects including Peter Johnson’s dome at an unspecified location (Cronton was mooted), King’s Dock (now site of the arena), Destination Kirkby, and the short-lived Walton Hall Park proposal, Everton’s Holy Grail to find a replacement for Goodison Park has finally been given the green light.
While all of those ultimately came to nought, the prospect of an iconic and unique new home on the banks of the Mersey that will become part of the City’s famous skyline is hugely exciting for fans.
A step-by-step examination of how Everton reached the breaking ground of their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock:
- March 11th, 2016
Having purchased his initial 49.9 percent controlling stake in Everton, Farhad Moshiri (the British-Iranian businessman is the majority owner of Premier League football club Everton) pledges to tackle the club’s stadium issue as he stated, “We will also be looking at the best options in relation to our stadium. Goodison Park has served the club extremely well but we need to make sure the club has a suitable stage to perform on for the future. We will review the best options and how to finance, especially as it is likely to cost a little more than the £3,000 it apparently did back in 1892.”
- October 14th, 2016
Club officials, including Moshiri, Kenwright, Barrett-Baxendale, plus the Liverpool Mayor, Joe Anderson, and architect Dan Meis, visit proposed stadium sites at Stonebridge Cross in Croxteth (UK), and the waterfront Bramley-Moore Dock in Vauxhall (UK).
- November 7th, 2016
With supporters pushing for the Mersey riverside option, Moshiri declares that the club has “taken soundings from fans” and “in our mind, we know where we want to go. We are committed”.
- February 2nd, 2017
Mayor Anderson says Everton’s proposed Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium could play a part in the City’s bid to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026.
- March 23rd, 2017
Everton’s Land Purchase Agreement for Bramley-Moore Dock is sealed with the club signing an initial “heads of terms” agreement to acquire the site from Liverpool Waters developer Peel for a fee believed to be £22.5million.
- March 31st, 2017
The Liverpool Council agrees a deal to help Everton build their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
The Council’s cabinet agreed to act as an effective guarantor for the club’s plans by setting up a Special Purpose Vehicle to attract investment.
The announcement comes at the City of Liverpool – having previously planned to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games – attempts to be awarded the 2022 Games with the Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium the centerpiece to their bid.
- September 7th, 2017
Liverpool loses out to Birmingham in their bid to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games, ensuring that Everton’s Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium will not need to incorporate a temporary athletics track.
- November 23rd, 2017
Everton exchange contracts for the Bramley-Moore Dock site, signing an agreement to secure a 200-year lease on the proposed site of their new stadium.
- January 24th, 2018
Everton reveal 11 Key Principles that will shape their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock – and the future of Goodison Park.
They are – Our Fortress, a new home for Everton, a platform for growth, The People’s Club, an iconic landmark for Liverpool, easy to get to, easy to get home, a legacy for Goodison Park, respecting heritage, harnessing the environment, embracing technology, and the right deal for Liverpool.
- April 2nd, 2018
Speaking in a series of fans’ workshops with Evertonians at St Luke’s Church next to Goodison Park, stadium architect Dan Meis revealed ‘The Blues’ plan to build a large home end based on the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund’s (Germany) ‘Yellow Wall’ at their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Emphasizing Everton’s commitment to make the new stadium a “fortress” – retaining and amplifying Goodison Park’s intimacy and atmosphere, the American declared his desire to create the “greatest home ground in English football”.
Borussia Dortmund’s ‘Yellow Wall’: A crown jewel of German football. The Yellow Wall: A spellbinding sight in the South stand of Borussia Dortmund’s the 81,365-capacity Signal Iduna Park that may not be quite visible from space, but whose dimensions and noise reach up to the stars.
- June 7th, 2018
Mayor Anderson suggested for the first time that the Liverpool City Council may not lend Everton the money it needs to build a new stadium with the club potentially looking elsewhere for financial assistance.
- August 13th, 2018
Everton named Colin Chong as the Stadium Development Director to spearhead the club’s move to Bramley-Moore Dock.
Chong is a construction industry specialist whose CV lists a number of major projects including redevelopment work at the 74,140-capacity Old Trafford – home of the Premier League club Manchester United – and the building of Wigan’s DW Stadium, as part of 35 years in the trade.
The 25,138-capacity DW Stadium is a stadium in Robin Park, near Wigan, within the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan, Greater Manchester, England (UK). The ground is owned and managed by the Wigan Football Company Limited, which is 85 percent owned by Wigan Athletic and 15 percent owned by the Wigan local authority. It is used by the Wigan Athletic football club and the Wigan Warriors rugby league club.
- November 15th, 2018
Everton embark on what they described as “one of the most important processes” in their 140-year history with the start of the formal public consultation on their proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
- December 20th, 2018
Everton revealed they are proposing a capacity of 52,000 for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock but the projected figure could increase to 62,000 in the future.
- February 12th, 2019
Everton’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is given “more than a vote of confidence” with key results revealed from the first public consultation process.
Over 20,000 people took part in the club’s first stage of public consultation with 94 percent of the respondents agreeing that the waterfront site is an appropriate place for Everton to build a new ground.
Of the 20,168 people who responded nearly 2,000 were non-Everton supporters yet the bulk of those fans were still in agreement over the club’s move to Bramley-Moore Dock.
- July 25th, 2019
Everton unveiled Dan Meis’ stunning designs for their proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Meis Architects proposed to use “traditional” brick, glass and steel with the use of brick on the outside ensuring the ground looks at home in the dockland setting.
- July 26th, 2019
Just a day after the renderings were revealed, the club’s second stage of public consultation began.
Architect Meis stated, “There has always been that mentality that we’re not building a Bentley, we’re building a Ferrari. It’s going to be new and have amenities but it’s a performance building, it’s a proper football ground.”
- November 13th, 2019
Everton’s plans for a new stadium received major public backing as part of a groundbreaking second consultation process with results revealed.
‘The Blues’ received over 43,000 responses to their summer survey about the People’s Project (both the move to Bramley-Moore Dock and the legacy for Goodison Park).
Some 96 percent of people who took part wanted the project to continue, 98 percent of all respondents supported the design of the 52,000-seater stadium with 99 percent of Everton fans backing Meis’ July renderings.
The second stage consultation reached 2,726 non-Everton fans – and included a 19-day touring exhibition that visited 12 locations across all six Liverpool City Region boroughs.
- December 23rd, 2019
Everton revealed their stunning final designs for their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock as they submitted their planning application to the Liverpool City Council.
- January 14th, 2020
Everton revealed they have enlisted the help of two major international banks to secure the majority of funding required to build their new stadium.
The club confirmed they have been working with JP Morgan and MUFG (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group) over the past 12 months to assist in finding the private institutions that could lend the club the bulk of the expected £500 million construction costs.
It was also announced that Everton had struck a £30million deal with Alisher Usmanov’s holding company USM over naming rights on the club’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
- February 19th, 2020
Everton appointed Laing O’Rourke as the contractor for the club’s proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
- June 24th, 2020
Architect Dan Meis confirmed he is “not currently engaged” in Everton’s Bramley-Moore Dock stadium plans and claimed that stepping away was one of the “greatest disappointments” in his career.
He added, “Let me be clear. I am fully confident that Bramley-Moore will be built. It is both right for the club and the City.”
- July 24th, 2020
Everton are “expected to be awarded” planning approval for their new stadium in October, a major document revealed as the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority released their post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
- December 16th, 2020
Everton are not expected to hear the outcome of their planning application to build a new stadium until early next year.
‘The Blues’ had been hoping to receive an official answer from the Liverpool City Council in December but the local authority being left stretched by the demands of the pandemic meant the detailed proposal submitted by the club was yet to be fully worked through.
- February 15th, 2021
The Liverpool City Council released a planning report which recommended that Everton’s proposed Bramley-Moore Dock stadium be approved.
- February 23rd, 2021
The local authorities held a special planning committee comprising 11 councilors to unanimously come to their determination on the proposals.
Everton’s legacy project for Goodison Park is also unanimously approved.
- March 26th, 2021
Everton confirmed that work at the new stadium can finally begin as Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who had been reviewing the planning permission, decided not to call the project in further.
- June 14th, 2021
Everton started preliminary works for their new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
Specialist firm Boskalis Maritime send a boat out onto the Mersey to carry out various checks on the Dock, including looking for any unexploded devices as well as looking at the state of the Dock wall plus a survey of microbiological organisms that may be attached to the Dock or living in the water.
- July 1st, 2021
Everton confirmed they will begin work on their new stadium on July 26th.
Exulted Chairman Kenwright, “We are thrilled to be able to confirm that construction work will commence on our new stadium later this month.”
Meanwhile, it was revealed that the enabling works, to prepare the land before the stadium construction begins, are to be paid for by money from the majority shareholder Moshiri.
The second phase, with which the money the club is looking to secure from the private sector to pay for, will be used for the physical construction of the 52,888 capacity stadium, but may not begin until the end of this year or the start of 2022.
- July 26th, 2021
On the day the club formally took control of the Bramley-Moore Dock site, the Everton Stadium Development Director Chong outlined, “Our intention that we’ll be formally breaking ground on the Eastern quayside in the early part of August” and revealed that fans will be able to follow progress on the site through a web cam.
- August 10th, 2021
Everton announced that they have held a project commencement ceremony at Bramley-Moore Dock to mark the breaking of ground in the construction of their new £500m stadium.
Everton Chairman Kenwright enthused, “This is a momentous day. One that we have all been waiting for. To know that Evertonians and the people of this great City are together with us on this journey is a special feeling. Now that the work has commenced, we can all watch our magnificent home as it comes to life. I am stating the obvious, but must reiterate that this day could not have happened without Farhad’s continued support on every level and the drive and determination of our CEO Denise, and her team.”
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