Apr 302014

Liverpool Council bosses say any investment must have ‘sound financial and economic’ reasons behind it

Liverpool Council chiefs may give some financial backing to Everton FC’s new stadium, but insist they could not fully fund the multi-million pound project.

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Everton, Goodison Park

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But the council – which is battling to impose budget cuts of more than £150m – could not provide the full funding needed for a new stadium, the statement added.

The comments come after the ECHO revealed the plot at the 130-acre Walton Hall Park was the preferred location for the new stadium .

Any council backing for the new Toffees ground would be tied to a “wider regeneration scheme”, similar to the redevelopment projects around Anfield.

These funding improvements could include housing, highways, transport and environmental as part of a wider regeneration scheme.

The council’s statement said: “As with all large-scale regeneration projects with the potential to create jobs and investment in Liverpool, the city council will look at ways it can support the wider regeneration scheme but no firm options have been developed in terms of how or where this will take shape.

“This work is ongoing and we will announce the details of the location and support we will be offering once this has been further developed.

“However, we must stress that the city council is clearly not in a position to fund the costs of a new stadium.

“Any investment the council makes would be in a wider regeneration scheme, subject to a sound financial and economic rationale for doing so.”

A move from Goodison has been on the cards for years but previous plans have been plagued by setbacks, mainly funding problems.

Proposals for a 55,000-seat ground in the Kings Dock were rejected more than 10 years ago, then the Government vetoed plans for a new stadium in Kirkby in 2009.

A new ground at Walton Hall Park would require both public and private sector backing, Everton chief executive Robert Elstone said in an interview in today’s ECHO.

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