Everton Football Club has held a project commencement ceremony at Bramley-Moore Dock to mark the breaking of ground in the construction of a new £500m stadium.


The momentous occasion was attended by Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright, Chief Executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale and Players’ Life President Graeme Sharp alongside some of the project’s key planning, construction and engineering partners.


History was made as an Everton branded excavator made the first incision into the eastern quayside at Bramley-Moore Dock as work to develop the Club’s new 52,888 capacity waterfront home begins to gather pace.


The Club took possession of the site, which forms part of Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme in the city’s Northern Docks, on Monday 26 July with construction partners Laing O’Rourke immediately working on putting in place welfare facilities for the near 12,000 construction staff that will be required during the estimated three-year build.


Everton Chairman Bill Kenwright said: “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.


“In a few years’ time we will, of course, be bidding the fondest farewell imaginable to our cherished home at Goodison Park. That sad day will be made easier because we know we are going to an astonishing new stadium that will bring our fans and their children – and their children’s children – the kind of joy throughout the next century that we have all shared in Liverpool 4.”


A ceremony to mark the first breaking of ground is traditional in development and forms part of the required enabling works to the eastern quayside, which will eventually become home to the Fan Plaza – an area that could welcome more than 9,000 fans on matchdays. Work is currently continuing to repair and preserve the Grade II listed dock wall, to stabilise the listed hydraulic tower, the raking of the dock floor and preparation for the demolition of existing non-listed structures. Pipework is also being laid ahead of the infilling of the dock in the autumn.


Everton Chief Executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale added: “Breaking ground is a significant milestone for this project, for our football club and our city region. It is a tangible symbol of Everton’s future and a clear signal of our Club’s ambitions.


“Today’s ceremony represents the culmination of an extensive and robust planning process. It delivers an exciting new future for our football club, invests in our local and national economy and supports our community as our region builds back better following the impacts of the global pandemic, while also ensuring the city’s oldest professional football club remains in our spiritual home of North Liverpool.


“I’m delighted we have been able to share today with the internal and external team of planning, construction and engineering partners who have worked tirelessly to make this project happen. I know for them it signifies a real starting point in the development phase of this transformational scheme.”


Everton’s new stadium project is recognised as the largest single-site private sector development in the country contributing an estimated £1.3bn to the UK economy, creating more than 15,000 jobs and attracting 1.4m visitors to the city of Liverpool. Once complete, the scheme will have acted as a catalyst for more than £650m worth of accelerated regeneration directly benefiting Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters and the nearby Ten Streets development.


To bring fans closer to the stadium development as construction gets underway the Club will be launching a new website in the coming weeks. The site will offer news and information about progress on the Bramley-Moore Dock site as well as give supporters and stakeholders the chance to view activity on-site through a webcam.


Everton CEO Hails “Proud And Momentous Day” In Club’s History


Everton CEO, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, says breaking ground on the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium development marks a “proud and momentous day in the history of our football club”.


 The Club took possession of Bramley-Moore Dock on Monday 26 July and have since been working to prepare the site for the construction of a state-of-the-art 52,888-capacity stadium.


Denise Barrett-Baxendale joined Chairman Bill Kenwright and key figures from the Club’s dedicated stadium team at a project commencement ceremony to mark the first incision into the eastern quayside of the site.


“It is a proud and momentous day in the history of our football club and one that will be celebrated by Evertonians all over the world,” Professor Barrett-Baxendale told evertontv.


“A new stadium has been an ambition for the best part of three decades and I know how important it is to our supporters.


“It is one of the first questions I am asked by fans, ‘When are we going to put a spade in the ground and start building our new home?’


“So to actually see the project hit that milestone was a real honour.


“I have received messages from all over the world, from fans, colleagues in football and interested parties, congratulating the Club on the commencement of such a significant project.


“There are a lot of reasons for Evertonians to be proud of this project, as well as excited for the future.”


Everton’s pioneering new home comprises one half of a project that will transform North Liverpool and deliver a £1.3bn boost to the city region’s economy.


Known as The People’s Project throughout the public consultation phase, Everton’s plans include a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park, that will see a range of community asset developed to replace the Club’s current home and ensure Everton and Everton in the Community remains in the heart of L4 for generations to come.


A new stadium combined with a legacy project will generate up to 15,000 jobs – 12,000 of those in the stadium’s construction phase – and attract around 1.4m visitors to the city, with more than £255m spent through local supply chains.


 “Although we have lived and breathed this for a number of years, we can’t underestimate how vital this project is for our city region and the north of England,” said Professor Barrett-Baxendale.


“This is the biggest single-site development in the country, delivering a package of benefits that will see Everton play a leading role in helping the country recover from the effects of the pandemic.


Everton begin the 2021/22 Premier League campaign this month, starting the countdown on the Club’s final seasons at Goodison.


Tickets to watch the team are hot property with Everton boasting record Season Ticket retention rates and an extended Season Ticket Waiting List, as anticipated interest intensifies in advance of the stadium move.


“Quite rightly, there is already a lot of interest from supporters in seeing how the stadium will develop,” said Professor Barrett-Baxendale.


“I am pleased, because it tells me our supporters feels a sense of ownership about this project.


“The role they have played is crucial and moving forward this will be their home.


“It is where they will purchase their season tickets, pick out their seats, cheer on their team, bring their sons, daughters, family and friends and pass down traditions, like their mothers, fathers and grandparents did with them at Goodison Park.”


Professor Barrett-Baxendale added: “We will continue working with supporters’ groups to make sure all aspects of our plans are built around our fans’ hopes and expectations.


“We will be contacting all our supporters with details about ticketing timelines and processes in the next few months.


“Later this month, our new website, offering news and information about our progress, will be launched.


“We will be sending regular e-letters and publishing podcasts on the development.”


Everton’s Stadium Is A “Once-In-A-Lifetime” Project


Everton’s spectacular new waterfront stadium has been described as a “once-in-a-lifetime” project that will help transform Liverpool’s northern docks and significantly boost job opportunities on Merseyside.


The Club took possession of the Bramley-Moore Dock site – part of Peel L&P’s £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme – last week, with contractors Laing O’Rourke now beginning work to prepare the area in readiness for the stadium build.


The development will be one of the largest ongoing in the UK, kickstarting a major regeneration of North Liverpool, attracting investment, and creating up to 15,000 jobs in the city region.


Laing O’Rourke has a track record of delivering state-of-the-art sport stadia, as well as major constructions across Liverpool, the UK and globally.


Director Paul McNerney explained the firm’s sense of responsibility in playing a key role in such an historic development for Everton and Merseyside.


“As a local employer, as a contractor that’s rooted in the local environment, this is a huge project for us,” he told evertontv.


“I’m full of excitement and the team are raring to go.


“At Laing O’Rourke, we have a huge workforce, but no doubt we’ll have to grow that team.


“So, there are opportunities for local employment – we’ll connect with Everton in the Community and use that as a vehicle to bring people to the project, and it’s an opportunity for training, for apprenticeships and for the development of a workforce in the area.


“This is a once-in-a-lifetime project and the people we have in our team are extremely proud to be involved.


“No doubt, when they look back at their careers, the Everton stadium will be the project that stands out for them.”


Speaking on the day Everton formally broke ground at Bramley-Moore Dock, Club legend and Players’ Life President Graeme Sharp admitted emotions will run high when the Blues leave their cherished Goodison Park home.


Sharp, however, expressed his belief Everton’s new stadium can propel the Club into an exciting and successful era.


“The fans have been waiting for this for a long, long time,” he said.


“Everybody loves Goodison and has great memories from there, but you’ve got to move forward as a football club.


“This is going to be a top-of-the-range football stadium. The plans are fantastic. It’ll be great to come here and see how it is progressing.


“I just can’t wait to see it happen. Imagine European nights here at Bramley-Moore Dock, it would be incredible.”


Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters project is one of the largest regeneration developments in Europe, with its vision to rejuvenate the city’s northern docks and create a vibrant, multi-use waterfront area.


Everton’s world-class new home, then, is an integral element of these plans.


 Steven Underwood, Chief Executive Officer at Peel L&P, explained how they have worked collaboratively with the Club to ensure the docks’ heritage is retained and enhanced by the stadium build.


“It’s an enormous landmark for Everton to take control of site and I think it’s going to be a fantastic development,” said Underwood.


“The heritage associated with this site is incredibly important. We’ve been working very closely with the Everton team.


“We’ve put together a very sympathetic scheme which retains key parts of that heritage.


 “Giving access for people to take in that heritage will also be very important.


“I think a lot of people don’t realise that the area around the site has been closed off to the public.


“As soon as the stadium is here, it will be open to everyone to enjoy the heritage as well as the football.”