Everton appoints stadium development director

Everton FC has appointed ex-Laing O’Rourke project leader Colin Chong to head up the delivery of the club’s stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Chong joined the football club from Laing O’Rourke in 2016 as head of estates at Goodison Park, and has been appointed to his newly-created role of stadium development director after what the club said was “a recruitment process spanning many months”.

He has helped to deliver a number of stadium projects around the country over his 35-year career in construction, including the DW Stadium in Wigan, Manchester’s Commonwealth Games stadium – now the Etihad – and the redevelopment of Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium.

Everton’s £300m stadium is planned for Bramley-Moore Dock as part of the wider £1bn Liverpool Waters site. A deal for the land was agreed last November with Peel Land & Property; Everton has a 200-year lease on the waterfront site, which is conditional on the club gaining planning consent and securing funding for the stadium’s construction.

The club already has architect Meis on board, and although a contractor has yet to be appointed, it is hoped the stadium will open in 2022 with a planning application expected this year.

In March, Place North West revealed Lendlease was in talks with Everton to act as main contractor, with Sir Robert McAlpine and Laing O’Rourke both understood to be eyeing the project.

The advisory team on the project also includes CBRE.

“The Club has already done a huge amount of work to get us to our current position, spending millions of pounds to make sure that any scheme we develop is right for the Club and our fans, that the design principles are right and, crucially, that it’s affordable,” said Chong.

“This is a long and complex process, but we have put together a well-resourced team of internal staff and consultants to ensure we are able to drive this forward effectively.”

Chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale added: “Whilst we have made progress on our plans for Bramley-Moore Dock – as well legacy plans for the Goodison Park site – there is a lot of detailed and complex work to do to enable our move to happen.

“The fact that he has had some involvement in the project so far – albeit without being wholly dedicated to it – means he can really hit the ground running with an awareness of what needs to be done next.

“Colin has extensive experience in delivering stadiums and other large-scale capital projects and, together with our strengthened internal team and a best-in-class team of external advisers, we now have all the resource and expertise we need in place as we move towards the crucial planning phases.”

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