Everton FC pins stadium hopes on Walton Hall Park

Liverpool City Council and Everton Football Club are exploring the possibility of developing a new stadium on Walton Hall Park, close to the club's current ground, Goodison Park.

The council and the club are working with Liverpool Mutual Homes and Everton in the Community on the plans for the development, which would be funded by the football club.

An earlier plan for a new stadium in Kirkby, which would have been funded by Tesco was dismissed after a public inquiry in 2009.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: "Everton's investment into this area would be the catalyst for a development which could make a real difference. We know from other regeneration schemes that opportunities like this can lead to significant economic and social benefits. This scheme would generate significant new job opportunities and also address important social needs such as health and education."

Club chairman Bill Kenwright added: "On my journey to our home games, as I pass Walton Hall Park, I inevitably think that I am only a minute away from our beloved Goodison …for several years now, I've also thought, if only it was available for our new stadium, it ticks all the boxes.

"An opportunity to explore the possibility of securing the new home we've looked for, for so long, is hugely exciting to me, but to do that in a way that supports, transforms and sustains our local communities, in our Everton heartland, is such a wonderful, added bonus. It would fill me with great pride. It could be something very special for our city, the residents of North Liverpool and all Evertonians – a new home that goes beyond football and does what Everton does better than anyone else.

"Of course, there's an enormous amount of work to do – that again, involves fixing a huge financial jigsaw – but we are certain it's an opportunity we should pursue with great commitment, endeavour and ambition. To get every aspect right will take time as well as the continued support we've received to date from Joe Anderson and his colleagues at the City Council. That partnership will be vital.

"Like all Evertonians, I love Goodison Park and have done since the day I first set foot in the Boy's Pen but the prospect of developing a new stadium, and a new and vibrant community, just down the road from us, is to be grasped and encouraged."

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So – is Big Joe giving another park away – or selling it for a small fee?
Stanley Park. Sefton Meadow, Woolton Wood – what next? St John’s Gardens?

By Not again

Big Joe is running amok now. The city will be covered in tarmac in 10 years at this rate! The lack of imagination around the use of brownfield is staggering. Everton’s big chance was the Kings Dock and they blew it. At a time when libraries and childrens centres are closing, the two largest private companies in the city, i.e. the football clubs are getting, are getting cash handouts that they don’t need.

By John Brown

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