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Everton FC to leave Goodison - for Walton Hall Park

'Underused' green space set to become multi-million pound home of the Blues

Written by . Published on September 15th 2014.

Everton FC to leave Goodison - for Walton Hall Park

EVERTON Football Club is to leave one of the world’s oldest football stadiums – Goodison Park – for a brand new home just up the road - in Walton Hall Park.

The 120-acre park becomes the third city green space this year to face development, after the Meadowlands and Woolton Woods. 

A proposed new stadium for the People’s Club will form the centrepiece of a multi-million pound regeneration programme, made public at one minute past midnight.

It will mean Everton FC leaving Goodison, its home since 1892, flitting about a kilometre up the A580 to Walton Hall Park, described as one of the city’s most “underused parks”

Walton Hall Park 1Walton Hall Park

Following the long saga of the Toffees' proposed move to Kirkby, this could be a dream come true for Everton’s theatre impresario chairman, Bill Kenwright.  On the other hand, it may well be seen as a nightmare for those in the north end of Liverpool who currently enjoy views and tranquillity across park lands.

Kenwright said: “On my journey to our home games, as I pass Walton Hall Park, I inevitably think that I am only a minute away from our beloved Goodison. For several years now, I’ve also thought, if only it was available for our new stadium, it ticks all the boxes.

“An opportunity to explore the possibility of securing the new home we’ve looked for, for so long, is hugely exciting to me, but to do that in a way that supports, transforms and sustains our local communities, in our Everton heartland, is such a wonderful, added bonus. It would fill me with great pride. It could be something very special for our city, the residents of North Liverpool and all Evertonians - a new home that goes beyond football and does what Everton does better than anyone else.”

His comments came in a city council statement which went on: “Of course, there’s an enormous amount of work to do – that again, involves fixing a huge financial jigsaw – but we are certain it’s an opportunity we should pursue with great commitment, endeavour and ambition. To get every aspect right will take time as well as the continued support we’ve received to date from Joe Anderson and his colleagues at the City Council. That partnership will be vital.

“Like all Evertonians, I love Goodison Park and have done since the day I first set foot in the Boy’s Pen but the prospect of developing a new stadium, and a new and vibrant community, just down the road from us, is to be grasped and encouraged.”

Financing for the scheme will be led by Everton Football Club with support from a number of partners including Liverpool Mutual Homes and Everton in the Community.

The club says it expects a planning application to be lodged in about a year, but only after an extensive consultation exercise with the local community and Everton fans.

Rivals Liverpool FC have already abandoned plans to build a new £450m stadium on Stanley Park, opting instead to expand Anfield.

The new scheme was announced jointly by Liverpool City Council and Everton Football Club, describing the project as a “transformational regeneration opportunity for North Liverpool”, parts of which form some of the most socially deprived areas in  the UK.

The commitment to explore the development of Walton Hall Park follows an exhaustive search for suitable sites within the city for a new home for Everton.

The outline of the proposed scheme, says the council, seeks to embrace extensive, new community facilities and secure up to 1,250 new jobs.

Mayor Joe Anderson said: “I am really pleased that we have identified this exciting opportunity for north Liverpool. We know that this is an area of the city that requires substantial investment and this project could bring this in a unique form.

“Everton’s investment into this area would be the catalyst for a development which could make a real difference. We know from other regeneration schemes that opportunities like this can lead to significant economic and social benefits. This scheme would generate significant new job opportunities and also address important social needs such as health and education."

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18 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousSeptember 16th 2014.

For more than a century our councilors look after our cherished parks. We elect an all-powerful mayor and what happens, he goes on a spending spree with our civic jewels. And they have the cheek to call it democracy.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 16th 2014.

I thought LFCs planning permission to build on Stanley park came before the new Mayor.

John FoulkesSeptember 16th 2014.

For years I always thought a good place for a football stadium would be at the end of the Knowsley expressway the Fords side, since then Everton have built Finch farm, this would link up with motorways, the new bridge, main line railway links etc. Be positive|

1 Response: Reply To This...
mickeydrippinSeptember 17th 2014.

Wherever Everton want to build a new stadium, there will always be objections. If they decided on the site suggested by yourself, the critics would say that it would be on the green-belt and outside Liverpool. They would suggest a brownfield site but would undoubtedly be unable to pinpoint a location with adequate parking and transport links. Sadly, Everton who cannot extend Goodison Park, will be criticised whatever they do.

Tony KellySeptember 16th 2014.

If anyone believes that this will happen I suggest you send for the men in white coats,more bullshit from EFC.

AnonymousSeptember 16th 2014.

Surely Everton can play on any old piece of waste ground. I'll even let them have a couple of jumpers to use as goalposts, and then they won't have to sell any more players, and their 10 or so fans will be happy.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2014.

Look at an aerial shot of Walton Hall Park and the surrounding environs, and you will see thousands of garden-less terraced houses. The park is THEIR back garden. It also occurs to me there has been a load of behind-the-scenes talking about this scheme, involving seemingly everyone apart from those who matter most, the poor sods who live around the park. Power to the people, I think not.

1 Response: Reply To This...
John BradleySeptember 17th 2014.

When you do that you also notice how many other parks there are in the area.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2014.

It would be interesting to know what the statement that Walton is "one of the city's most underused parks" is based on. Is there any evidence for this statement, or is it just someone's opinion? Because it sounds a lot like the "no-one uses it for anything" statements made about Sefton Park Meadows (followed more recently by comments about it being a dog's toilet, although how both assertions can be true is a bit of a puzzle, unless the dogs all go there on their own, spontaneously).

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barb BarianSeptember 17th 2014.

The philistines that run the City also consider that public libraries are "under-used" because they are quiet, calm places conducive to reading, unlike the bustling, noisy, flashy amusement arcade that has replaced the Liverpool Central Libraries. They have no clue about the civic value of things they happily destroy in order to suck up to the millionaires.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2014.

How about the middle of Aintree racecourse? All that underused land going to waste.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 18th 2014.

And all those underused empty office buildings in the city centre.

AnonymousSeptember 21st 2014.

There is land just up the road by the graveyard an old m.o.d. its on mere lane.

AnonymousSeptember 18th 2014.

And golf courses.

AnonymousSeptember 21st 2014.

They have announced they are taking half the park, so thats half of a 130 acre green land gone. I live facing it & i invite anyone to come & see it being under used as its always full of families, joggers, dog walkers & the community. These kids need somewhere to play & have fun & what about the wildlife, there are bats, owls and thousands of birds & insects but that will be lost with a 50,000 seater stadium with floodlights, litter and sheer noise of the matches i can here from a near mile away. We already have traffic problems from this far away. The businesses around goodison are set up to meet the fans needs so what are they to do when it goes? How many moves has efc gone for now? kirby, waterfront & now here! everton in the community...joke cause everton doesn't care!! Fact or they wouldn't want to take this away.

AnonymousSeptember 22nd 2014.

The Mayor doesn't like green space. When was the last time you think he went for a nice healthy stroll around a park?!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 22nd 2014.

Maybe he had a PE teacher who made him hate grass

AnonymousSeptember 22nd 2014.

Why do Everton need a 50,000 seater stadium, they haven't got that many fans? Are they hoping Rod Stewart will play a concert or something?

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