Everton Football Club have been given permission to build a new £9million state-of-the-art retail and office development adjacent to Goodison Park.
Liverpool City Council approved the plan, which includes a four-storey multi-purpose complex which will house a proposed club museum, new club shop, improved hospitality facilities and offices for the hundreds of administrative staff the club employ. Work is expected to start next month and a completion date has been set for autumn 2011.
Chief Executive Robert Elstone said: “The new building is an exciting phase in the development of Goodison Park.
“It will help us grow our business by giving fans a new purpose-built club shop, which is twice the size of Everton One, plus a hospitality lounge targeted at Evertonians wanting to socialise before and after games at Goodison, and finally a proper home for the Everton Collection.”
The new development and desire to build on the current site of the 118-year-old Goodison Park comes after the club’s bid to relocate to a new stadium in Kirkby, in partnership with supermarket giants Tesco, was rebuffed by the government.
JMU Journalism spoke to Everton supporters regarding the planned new development and they were understandably pleased by the prospect of increased revenues brought by the new complex.
Daniel Adlen, 25, from Walton said: “As long as all the money generated by the site is pumped back into the playing side of the club, then it’s a good thing.”
Alan Whitehead, 42, from Bootle said: “I was against the move to Kirkby from the outset, as I always believed we could regenerate Goodison Park and the area that surrounds it. I think investment of any kind into the club is what’s needed to provide continuity.”
The new project will be funded in partnership with the club's catering and retail partners Sodexo and Kitbag.
Elstone added: “It will get the entire Everton team under one roof - something that is long overdue - and an opportunity to further improve how we work as a team for the benefit of the fans.”
By John Piper, Sports Editor
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The multi-purpose complex will be built at the Park End of the stadium and should be completed by 2011