Bill Kenwright has hailed a “momentous day” as Everton officially breaks ground on their new stadium site at Bramley Moore Dock.
The Toffees chairman was joined by CEO Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Players’ Life President Graeme Sharp and a number of the construction partners as an Everton branded excavator made the first incision into the eastern quayside on Tuesday morning.
The 52,888-capacity waterfront stadium will take around three years to build and cost in the region of £500m, with Everton hoping to kick-off the 2024-25 season in their new home.
Everton took control of the site last month but much of the work until now involved constructing welfare facilities for the near 12,000 construction staff who will work on the site over the next three years.
The eastern quayside will form part of the fan plaza, which will hold up to 9,000 supporters on a match day. Other early work includes the repair and preservation of the the Grade II listed dock wall and listed hydraulic tower, and the demolition of existing non-listed structures.
The raking of the dock floor is also taking place with pipework being laid ahead of the infilling of the dock in the autumn.
Breaking ground at BMD!— Everton (@Everton) August 10, 2021
As is tradition in development, a project commencement ceremony has been held at Bramley-Moore Dock to mark the breaking of ground in the construction of our new stadium.
Given the litany of failed stadium projects over the years it is a significant moment in the club’s history.
None of it would be possible without the backing of owner Farhad Moshiri, who is fronting up £100m of his own cash to kick-start the project, though he wasn’t present at the dockside for Tuesday’s ceremony.
The rest of the build will require external funding and a naming-rights deal, though neither have yet to be confirmed.
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.”
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.”
The club also confirmed a new website will be lunched in the next few weeks which will provide updates about the stadium build. There will also be a webcam so fans can see how construction is progressing for themselves.