Everton FC’s move to Bramley Moore Dock has taken a major step forward after Liverpool City Council backed the formation of a special purpose vehicle to lease the stadium from a funder and in turn sub-lease it to the club.
A report will be presented to the council’s cabinet on 31 March recommending the council progresses heads of terms to create the SPV.
The Bramley Moore Dock proposal is for a funder to acquire a 200-year head lease on the stadium land, which it will let for 40 years to the SPV. The SPV will be set up, owned and controlled by the council. The SPV will sub-let the stadium to Everton. The club will then have the option to acquire the stadium at the end of the 40-year period.
Earlier this week, Everton and Peel Land & Property agreed heads of terms on the Bramley Moore Dock site, which forms part of the £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme.
Under the proposed finance structure of the SPV the council will not provide any finance for the new stadium, which is anticipated to cost in excess of £300m. The club will be responsible for funding the stadium build.
Everton will pay an annual security fee to the council. The support provided to the club will not impact future borrowing needs and involves no financial outlay for the council.
The proposed stadium sits within the council’s plans to drive regeneration in the north Liverpool dock area, plans that include the recently launched masterplan for the Ten Streets area.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Creating this financial arrangement is a small step in a long journey for the club, but it is the first step. The proposed new stadium will be a landmark for the city’s spectacular north Liverpool waterfront and a powerful statement of intent for the club and the city of Liverpool that will resonate globally.
“From the city’s perspective, the stadium would complement and accelerate the regeneration plans already in place for north Liverpool, much like the way our partnership with Liverpool FC in the Anfield Project did for their stadium expansion.”
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone added: “We are delighted that we have been able to agree heads of terms with Peel, giving us control of the Bramley Moore Dock site and allowing us the time we need to complete the substantial further work required to be able to confirm the project’s viability.
“We can now move forward into the next phase with much greater confidence. It is vital we have clarity on cost and we have to recognise that the stadium will be significantly more expensive at Bramley Moore Dock. To get that certainty, and ensure the stadium is affordable, we need to confirm stadium design, capacity and configuration. And to do that, we need to talk to fans, partners and all stakeholders in the project. We’re committing to that consultation.
“We’re keen to stress not only the scale of the work ahead but also the remaining risks and uncertainties. Significant hurdles remain, not least the preparation and submission of a detailed planning application. Receipt of a successful planning approval at some point early next year will be the most significant step towards bringing the stadium to life.”