January 12 – Everton have set a 2022 target for taking occupancy of their new waterfront stadium at Bramley Moore Dock in Liverpool, at the same time that estimated costs have been acknowledged as having risen from an initial estimate of £300 million to £500 million.
Part of that funding will come via a £280 million loan from Liverpool City Council and its Everton supporting mayor Joe Anderson. Initially it was thought that the council would only act as a guarantor for the loan.
Anderson says the loan is good business, telling the Liverpool Echo: “There is no risk to the city or the council from what we are doing. We are trying to bring in more revenue and this should make a profit of nearly £200m over the next 25 years.
“There are restrictions on what we can do with revenue support grant money and council tax. They pay for services, so no one need worry about that. What we can do as a council is borrow at cheap rates and with that money we can help regenerate a wide area of north Liverpool as well as helping Everton. People have got to understand this is a commercial deal to enable us to make money.”
The council would make about £7 million a year from the interest on the 25-year loan, as well as earning income from business rates generated by the accelerated redevelopment of the area that the stadium build is expected to ignite.
Anderson argues that by encouraging the club by helping fund a viable stadium plan, the city is infact using the money to help regenerate a large area of North Liverpool.
“The development site we call Liverpool Waters, from the Pier Head to the docks at Seaforth, was planned to take 30 years and a $5bn investment. We think this is a way of accelerating the regeneration of the region, bringing in jobs, investment and new housing. First it will be a deal that benefits Liverpool, and second it will be a deal that benefits Everton FC,” he said.
Earlier this week Anderson hit national headlines in England when he asked police fraud investigators to have a look at the transfer of Ross Barklay to Chelsea. A deal he described as a bad deal for Everton.
The city council loan is without doubt a good deal for Everton. It could turn out to be a good deal for Liverpool as well if the stadium build has the predicted effect of stimulating the wider regeneration project.
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