Bootle hoping from boost at Everton FC's new home at Bramley-Moore Dock

A view from the south on May 13, 2024 of the new Everton Stadium being constructed at Bramley-Moore Dock
-Credit: (Image: PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

‘Once in a generation opportunities’ can be unlocked for a town ‘a goal kick away’ from Everton’s major new stadium, according to community leaders.

The 2024/25 season will host, at the very least, Goodison Park’s final 38 games as the home of the Toffees before they relocate to Bramley-Moore Dock on the banks of the royal blue Mersey. With the wider north Liverpool area hoping to benefit from the move, there are hopes Sefton could also tap into the buzz around the Blues’ new home.

Officials hope the waterfront location will work hand in hand with the regeneration of Bootle to offer fans transport links and amenities both pre and post-match.

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In a bid to solidify opportunities, Everton and Sefton Council have agreed to work together to focus on how best both parties can enhance access to the wider borough, Bootle town centre and the new ground. With Bootle Strand Bus Station and the town centre offering park and ride opportunities for supporters, Sefton Council is keen to highlight investment plans for the nearby Strand Shopping Centre and the development of Salt & Tar – a 3,000-capacity event space featuring street food, bars and live entertainment – as a potential pre-and post-match venue close to the transport hub.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, leader of Sefton Council, said: “This is an exciting time for Bootle town centre and with Everton Stadium little more than a goal kick away, it makes absolute sense for the council and Everton to work together to make sure fans have a range of choices in how they arrive and depart from the new stadium.”

This is likely to include a park and ride scheme, involving shuttle buses to and from Bootle Strand and using public and private car parks in the borough. The partnership will also investigate active travel opportunities, while promoting better information around the well-served local train network that caters for the Southport to Liverpool and Ormskirk to Liverpool lines - both of which stop at Sandhills Station, close to Everton Stadium.

Alix Waldron, director of stadium development at Everton, said: “By working with Sefton Council we can continue to strategically review all of the different opportunities and impacts our new stadium will have to support the borough and its residents. We have been very open about how Everton Stadium can offer once in a generation opportunities and we have seen this already with a clear boost to the local economy, the direct and indirect number of jobs being created and the tourism boost our new home will give to our city region.

“This agreement will look at how we can work jointly to not only harness the socio-economic opportunities for Sefton but also facilitate and manage real-world logistics like supporters travelling through the borough and liaising on potentially competing events in the same area.”

Both parties have committed to joint engagement and management of public messaging relating to transportation arrangements before, during and after any matches and large-scale events.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council cabinet member for regeneration and skills, said: “I’m very pleased to see the progress of Everton’s stadium development at Bramley-Moore Dock, which will bring a significant boost to the City Region economy, to Sefton and in particular to Bootle. The benefits of a near 53,000-capacity stadium on our doorstep could be huge and, while the challenges need to be managed, I’m delighted for the council and the club to be committing to work together proactively.

“I hope we can ensure that Bootle and South Sefton is considered when providing home and away fans with travel information and are clear on the alternative opportunities that Bootle town centre can offer, pre-and-post-match, which will help alleviate pressures at the stadium site and in the city centre. I’m really looking forward to cementing this relationship, as it’s about so much more than transport links, widening into the local community and economy.”

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