Everton reveals huge scale of public consultation

  • More than 43,000 people respond to second stage public consultation
  • Largest commercial public consultation in the history of the city of Liverpool
  • 63,207 responses received across both stages of public consultation
  • Full results to be announced in November ahead of the submission of planning applications before the end of the year

More than 43,000 people responded to Everton Football Club’s second stage public consultation into proposals for a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and a community-led legacy project at Goodison Park.

The response, double that of the first stage public consultation, makes The People’s Project the largest commercial public consultation in the city of Liverpool’s history and one of the largest ever held in the UK.

Across the two public consultations the Club received more than 63,000 responses with Everton’s commitment to engagement and consultation having already been hailed as exemplar by leading experts in civic engagement, sports business and marketing.  

The results from the second stage consultation, which will be released in November, will be used by the Stadium Development Team to further refine the Club’s plans and form part of the planning applications for both Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park. The Club remains on-track to submit both applications before the end of 2019.

Under ‘The People’s Project’ brand the Club held their public consultation in two stages – November/December 2018 and July/August 2019 – generating the huge response from fans and residents from across Liverpool City Region and beyond, all offering their thoughts on the Club’s ambitious plans.

The first stage public consultation saw 20,168 people respond, with 94% of people agreeing that Bramley-Moore Dock was an appropriate site for the new stadium and 95% backing Everton’s plans for a community-led led legacy at Goodison Park.

During July and August, 43,039 people took part in the second stage public consultation, which included a 19-day roadshow, visiting nine locations across all six Liverpool City Region boroughs. The consultation focused on the designs for a new 52,000 capacity stadium and the plans for transport, heritage and the environment as part of the project. The consultation also outlined design proposals for a community-led legacy project on the site of Everton’s current Goodison Park home.  

The roadshow events were attended by more than 15,000 people and included a popular virtual reality experience giving users a chance to fly over the new stadium and place themselves in the centre circle and home stand on matchdays. In addition to the events, the Club also received responses through dedicated digital channels as well as a postal survey for residents living around Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park.

Colin Chong, Everton’s Stadium Development Director said: “The interest and enthusiasm for The People’s Project has resulted in an unprecedented response to the consultation. We’re grateful to the thousands of Evertonians, fans of other clubs and people that don’t have an interest in football who took part and shared their views with us.

“We have been busy working our way through the tens of thousands of comments and ideas and analysing the results which will inform our proposals as we progress to submitting our planning applications before the end of the year.

“We’ve been really pleased with the scale of response and how our approach to engagement and public consultation on this project has been recognised as exemplar by industry experts.”

The impact of The People’s Project, which includes a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock and building on and expanding the life-changing and life-saving work of the Club’s official charity Everton in the Community through a legacy project at Goodison Park, were revealed in two independent reports by international property consultancy CBRE and socio-economic specialists Real Worth earlier this year.

They indicate that The People’s Project would deliver a £1billion boost to the city’s economy, the potential to create up to 15,000 jobs with £34 million of income going to local families and an extra 1.4 million new visitors attracted to the city on an annual basis. It is estimated the Club (including the new stadium and Goodison Legacy Project) would be delivering £793.4 million of societal value between 2024 and 2033, compared to £556 million generated solely through Everton in the Community activity, showing how the new stadium and community-led legacy would deliver an additional £237 million of social value to the Liverpool City Region.

For more information on the Club’s plans for Bramley-Moore Dock and Goodison Park and to keep up to date with the project, please visit www.peoples-project.co.uk.

Some industry experts have had their say on The People’s Project engagement and public consultation.

Chris Daly: Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Marketing “Strong brands put their customer at the heart of everything they do, and Everton’s stadium consultation is a shining example of this. The club has not assumed, but asked fans what it is they want, inviting Evertonians and the wider public alike to play a meaningful part in the process. Its choice of engagement channels has marked the club out as an innovator: incorporating the latest VR technology and recognising the popularity of apps, while not abandoning proven marketing techniques such as drop-in sessions and workshops.” 

“It has succeeded in marrying the integration of this fan feedback with an unfaltering commitment to its heritage. While the stadium is changing, Everton FC has made it clear that its values will not, confirming their authenticity, and securing loyalty from their fans through this period of change.” 

Professor Michael Parkinson:Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for civic engagement at the University of Liverpool and Ambassador for the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy and Practice. “Everton’s consultation and engagement has seen them live up to their reputation as the People’s Club. There has been a real rigour and depth to their engagement over the last two years – so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their plans have been received so well.

“The Club has acted in a clear and transparent way and genuinely reached out to fans, the business community and local people to ensure that the dialogue around the scheme is meaningful and in-depth. Some of the immersive technologies they have used to bring their plans to life, coupled with the breadth and depth of the engagement activities can provide valuable lessons for organisations undertaking engagement and consultation processes.”

Professor Chris Brady:Professor of Management Studies and Director of Salford University’s Centre for Sports Business; “The terms `engagement’ and ‘consultation’ are often bandied about as soundbites, but Everton have actually taken the terms very seriously in developing their plans for their new stadium. They have involved fans, residents, businesses and even members of the public who have no interest in football but who understand the positive effect such a development can have on the local community. 

 “All of the various stakeholders have been made to understand that they are fellow travelers on this arduous journey and that their views and support are central to the success of the project. The credit for this inclusive approach must go to the Club and, indeed, the way Everton have gone about this project could be seen as a model for how such huge civil engineering developments should be approached in the future.

“Stadium relocations are special because they have such an enormous emotional element. Everton appear to have understood that reality and have consequently managed the whole process extremely well.”

First stage public consultation results:

·       20,168 respondents

·       94% agreed Bramley-Moore Dock was an appropriate site for the new stadium

·       95% agreed Goodison Park should be redeveloped to create a legacy the community can benefit from with: health facilities, education amenities, community meeting rooms, leisure provision and homes

·       97% said it was important that Everton remain in the City of Liverpool

·       86% agreed it was important that Everton stay in North Liverpool

·       95% agreed the stadium could be used to host non-sporting events such as concerts

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