Everton CEO on ‘significant’ stadium progress and £30m USM deal
Everton Chief Executive, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, says Everton has made “significant progress” with plans for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock – and the Club remains committed to its stated ambition of “challenging at the very top of domestic and European competitions”.
Addressing Shareholders at Everton’s General Meeting on Tuesday, Professor Barrett-Baxendale revealed training ground sponsor USM has secured an option on naming rights for the Club’s new stadium – a deal worth £30m to Everton. She also explained Carlo Ancelotti was the board’s “unanimous” choice as manager – and the decorated Italian embodies Everton’s “nothing but the best” ethos.
Everton last month submitted a planning application for its new BMD home and accompanying redevelopment of Goodison Park and surrounding areas.
Professor Barrett-Baxendale, who thanked Evertonians for their consistent and impassioned “support and dedication”, disclosed the Club is “cautiously optimistic” about starting work at BMD this year. And Everton will be “prepared to move quickly” on a three-year build if approval of the planning application is passed.
Professor Barrett-Baxendale said:
Research has shown the stadium will provide a major £1bn boost to our economy… create 15,000 new jobs and an additional 1.4 million new visitors to the city. In addition it will act as the northern catalyst to Peel’s £5bn Liverpool Waters development, which would see Liverpool competing with Boston, Toronto and Barcelona in terms of the scale and diversity of its waterfront and associated economy. During the next year… the hard work continues.
I would like to re-emphasise that although we have made fantastic progress there are still a number of hurdles to overcome. And there are no guarantees when developing a capital project of this scale. However, the Board is cautiously optimistic. We have a robust plan, we have the right team in place and we have prepared extensively to mitigate all possible risks, giving us the best possible platform to succeed.
She also underlined the positioning of Everton’s stadium plans as a “key strategic target… which will bring numerous opportunities to deliver commercial growth”. The “single biggest opportunity”, she emphasised, “will be the monetisation of naming rights for the new facility”.
Professor Barrett-Baxendale said:
I am delighted to announce to you this evening that within the past week USM has secured an option on the naming rights of our new stadium. It is a significant commitment of interest and demonstrates the commercial impact the new stadium will afford.
Chief Finance and Commercial Officer, Sasha Ryazantsev, subsequently added the details concerning Everton’s renewed USM agreement. Talking on stage directly after, Professor Barrett-Baxendale, he said:
Today, we are delighted to announce the Club has entered into a £30m new arrangement with USM, in addition to our existing relationship. USM purchased an option that enables them to enter into a naming rights contract for our new stadium in Bramley-Moore Dock at a pre-agreed annual value and term.
This innovative deal secures additional commercial revenue for the Club and the option premium we are due to receive will be exclusively used as the Club’s further contribution to the project’s equity.
On Everton’s Goodison Park legacy, Professor Barrett-Baxendale insisted the Club has a “compelling vision”.
Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium Project
The detailed planning application for the Club’s new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock – within Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters site – was submitted to Liverpool City Council on Monday 23 December and will be followed by a separate outline application for a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park.
The planning submission follows a comprehensive public consultation which revealed 98 per cent support for the stadium design and 96 per cent support for the continuation of the project.
Colin Chong, Everton’s Stadium Development Director, and his team have outlined the next steps for the project:
Now the planning application has been submitted, we will let due process take its course but we are feeling very confident. It is a full and thorough application. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the fans for their patience. An enormous amount of work has gone into these proposals and we feel we’re in a good position for Liverpool City Council to review our application.
The next step is for the Council to review and process the significant and complex application, which will take time to verify and be made publicly available due to the scale of the submission, before starting a formal consultation period which is part of the planning process.
The Club, being advised by the CBRE UK Planning & Development team, has worked closely with the Liverpool Planning Authority and Historic England to shape the application and ensure the required detail is included to enable the proposals to be appropriately considered.
Iain Jenkinson, National Head of Planning at CBRE, said:
This is an incredibly detailed planning application which includes more than 50 detailed technical documents covering 30 different areas. These include wind mitigation, ecology and remediation all the way through to how the voices of the community have been heard in support of this project, as well as the economic, social and environmental benefits of the stadium.
It’s over to the city council now as the local planning authority. Once the planning application is validated in the New Year, it will be subject to a period of public consultation. We are hopeful that this project goes to the planning committee in the summer of 2020 and in the run-up to that we would hope that all those who have been involved in the consultation to date, and even those who haven’t, make their voices heard.
His comments were echoed by stadium architect Dan Meis, who explained the evolvement of the design and how the huge public support would continue to be important to the process.
Founder of MEIS Architects, Dan Meis, said:
We’re very proud of the final design. I think what people are most excited about is that it doesn’t just look like any other stadium that could be anywhere. It looks like it belongs there.
One of the strong pieces of feedback we received was the reaction to the west side of the building and what you see from the river. That’s perceived to be a really important view, so it has really changed how we look at that side of the building and therefore where we are locating the parking. We received great feedback on the design itself but that has been the focus on where this design has evolved.
This [proposed stadium] is not something that people are ‘middle-of-the-road’ about, they’re passionate about this project and I think that support is going to be very important as the planning application is looked at.
Colin Chong also provided an insight into the Club’s ongoing work to appoint a contractor to help bring the project to fruition:
The next steps for the Club are to complete the procurement process to appoint a partner to develop the stadium and to prepare a construction contract ready to move straight into once the planning application has been determined. From the point that planning consent is granted, we anticipate a three-year build timescale.
WATCH: EVERTON’S STADIUM TEAM EXPLAIN NEXT STEPS FOR THE PEOPLE’S PROJECT
Images, courtesy: Everton FC
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