Everton breaks ground on new stadium project

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, Players’ Life President Graeme Sharp, Laing O'Rourke Director of UK Building Paul McNerney, alongside some of the project’s key planning, construction and engineering partners.

History was made as an Everton branded hybrid excavator provided by Explore Plant and Transport Solutions 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 and Laing O'Rourke immediately started work putting in place welfare facilities for the near 12,000 construction staff that will be required during the estimated three-year build.

The eastern quayside, where the ground breaking took place 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 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.”

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.”

In an interview with evertontv, Paul McNerney spoke about Laing O'Rourke's track record of delivering state-of-the-art sport stadia, as well as major construction projects across Liverpool, the UK and globally.

He explained the firm’s sense of responsibility in playing a key role in such an historic development for Everton and Merseyside by saying;

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

Paul McNerney Director of UK Building

You can watch Paul’s interview here, along with words from Graeme Sharp, Everton Players’ Life President and Steven Underwood, CEO Peel L&P.

Video courtesy of evertontv

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