Everton new stadium – Mayor Joe Anderson on how Liverpool City Council’s investment will help fight austerity
Mayor Joe Anderson says the deal to help Everton fund their new stadium will act as an austerity-buster for the city.
The Blues have confirmed they are close to an agreement with Liverpool City Council that will see them find “two-thirds” of the money they need to build a ground on the waterfront.
Mayor Anderson is confident the deal between Everton and the local authority will gain approval soon, at which point the Blues will press ahead with their planning application.
The details of the agreement are yet to be revealed but Anderson says the “financial returns” the authority will get in helping the Blues find the cash will benefit the whole city and not just Everton.
Blues chairman Bill Kenwright says latest projections put the cost of a new ground at close to £500million.
Anderson said: “Let me say this to people who ask why Everton Football Club should benefit from Liverpool City Council at a time when Liverpool faces austerity.
“The development site on what we call ‘Liverpool Waters’ – starting at the Pier Head and going down to the docks at Seaforth – was planned to take 30 years.
“There is a £5bn investment but it was planned to take 30 years but with Everton Football Club committed to Bramley Moore Dock it accelerates the regeneration of the North of Liverpool.
“But it just doesn’t benefit the North of Liverpool but the whole of Liverpool because Liverpool City Council will benefit hugely from the investment we make and the financial return that we get and that’s where the fight against austerity comes in, because the benefit we receive as a City Council enables me to pay for services like social services, keeping Sure Start and libraries open and it’s that type of innovation and that type of invest-to-earn and invest-to-save that means we’re proud to enter in that deal with Everton Football Club.
“It will stimulate growth and new business in the Liverpool North Dock area, it will compliment and supplement what we’re doing with the Ten Streets scheme to the tune of around £300m in business rates and new business rates coming into the city in 10 years’ time.
“It will create 10,000 plus jobs, it will accelerate growth, it will bring in investment and it will provide new housing.
“So when people ask: is it a good deal for Liverpool the city and Liverpool City Council? It isn’t a good deal for Liverpool City Council, it’s a fantastic deal for Liverpool City Council.
“If it was Liverpool Football Club coming and talking to me in the same vein, of course we’d be doing it because as much as I am passionate about Everton Football Club I am more passionate about my city and my responsibility as Mayor of Liverpool.
“So when we do the deal, it will be a deal that benefits Liverpool, secondly it will be a deal that benefits Everton.
“We’ve concluded our negotiations it is now about due diligence, it’s now about us taking it to the cabinet and it’s now us taking it to the full Council for their approval and I am confident we will get that.
“So hopefully, with the approval we will have the funding in place for Everton to build a new stadium.”
Everton chief executive Robert Elstone had earlier said: “We are however confident that around two-thirds of what we need will be supported by Liverpool City Council in an arrangement that generates not only a very healthy financial return for the Council, but most importantly, kick-starts a scheme that will provide significant numbers of new jobs, houses and new business.
“It is important that we thank the Mayor and his colleagues for their commitment to the project over the past 12 months.”