Everton FC and Walton Hall Park Project – statement from the Mayor of Liverpool
There have been a lot of media reports today following the information presented to the Everton FC AGM last night.
I was disappointed that people were left with the impression that the council and other partners were not fully in support or part of a true partnership. I don’t recognise that view.
As Mayor of the city, I wish to set straight some of the issues which were not communicated to last night’s meeting.
Many people would love to see a new stadium, new housing, a better park and new community facilities at Walton Hall Park. Some would prefer the park to remain the way it currently is. All of which are things to consider but the facts are that:
– delivering what Everton FC refer to as “the Vision” requires in excess of £300m which Everton cannot yet show that they – or anyone else – have available.
– there is no regeneration scheme in place.
– there is no developer in place.
– there is no planning application.
Once these are in place, of course we will support, facilitate and work together to move the project forward, in the same way that we did with Liverpool FC for their recent the Anfield stadium expansion.
Some people seem to be forgetting that it is not the job of the council to finance and deliver a major regeneration scheme of the type proposed, including a potential new stadium for Everton Football Club. Nobody should be in any doubt about the horrendous financial situation that the council is facing.
Let me re-iterate, we would welcome a regeneration scheme to consider but the fact is, at the moment, there isn’t one. That is why there is no real progress to report.
It is sad that Everton FC chose to question mine and the Council’s integrity and commitment publicly. As a city we have helped Everton with Finch Farm and took the controversial decision to support a regeneration project with a stadium on Walton Hall Park. The evidence of our commitment to supporting Everton is there for all to see.
As Mayor I am totally committed to helping, within reason, this project if it meets the wider regeneration needs of the area or indeed any other solution the club may propose.