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Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, has said that Everton FC’s new £300m stadium presents “an opportunity to regenerate on a wider scale”, and will include housing, hotels, retail, leisure and proper transport links in an application set to come forward in the next year.
Rotheram was speaking as part of a panel focusing on sports-led regeneration, on the first day of MIPIM UK in London.
He said that the stadium, planned for a site at Bramley-Moore Dock, wouldn’t be “built in isolation” and there would be a heavy focus on “placemaking”. In particular, “trying to get 30,000 people out of the stadium on major arterial routes is going to be all about urban planning.”
Everton’s £300m stadium is part of the wider 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.
Rotheram joined other panellists in criticising the current planning process and the difficulty in getting complex schemes through to approval quickly. He said that by pushing for more devolved powers from Government, he hoped to have a spatial development strategy and more control over planning by 2020, but said: “Everton is set to have a spade in the ground before then, so will be navigating the current system.”
The Metro Mayor called for “more buy in from Government” when it came to sports-led regeneration, and said the “machine of Government needs to weaponise itself to get behind the sports sector and reap the wide-ranging benefits”.
He stressed that schemes such as Everton have “a key socio-economic role… particularly as Everton FC is a very community-oriented football club.”
- Place North West is exhibiting at MIPIM UK at Stand J10