Everton FC have revealed plans by world-renowned architect Dan Meis for their proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS). On Thursday afternoon (25th July 2019) to a packed audience at close-by Titanic Hotel, in Stanley Dock which is also part of the WHS, an eager audience was informed about the very latest proposals for the new stadium.

It was an extremely good presentation of Everton’s  case for moving into the dock and from almost any perspective there was nothing to which you would object. Everything about the plan is going to bring huge economic benefits both to L4 where Goodison Park currently is based as well as to the underpopulated area of the former industrial maritime mercantile area around the former north docks.

The word heritage was constantly used but UNESCO and the World Heritage Site was never mentioned once. It is clear that as long as Everton FC and the Mayor keep avoiding the reality of where the new stadium will go most people will not understand that the city is likely to face a choice between keeping the UNESCO designation or having a new football stadium on the dock. And given the flurry of articles published in the past few days by the Echo it is clear on which side citizens are being encouraged to come down.

The images are wonderful of the new stadium rising from within the old dock and who wants to deny Everton fans this glorious opportunity to rebirth their club for a new era with a new energy and drive? However those who care about the inscription of Liverpool as a UNESCO WHS will want to say simply that they want both – a new stadium by architect Dan Meis somewhere else (even on the waterfront) and the outstanding universal values of the WHS. However this isn’t very likely to be the outcome. All the powerful forces in the city are behind the proposals and there appears to be a frightened silence from the minority who think otherwise.

The reality of being a UNESCO WHS is that the designation is not Liverpool’s to lose. Liverpool now belongs to the whole of humanity and not to one Mayor or football club or developer – no matter how powerful or significant they are. It is the UK Government that signed the agreement with UNESCO and they will have the ultimate say on what is built within the WHS at Liverpool Waters even if the Planning Committee approve the plans once submitted (which of course everyone believes they will).  If the UK Government is shown to be incapable of protecting the status of this site and its outstanding universal value then UNESCO will want to know how they can possibly protect all the other sites? This potentially puts all WHS sites in the UK at serious risk.

Also nothing was said about the new stadium’s eco-credentials. For the world’s latest and most modern stadium design not to be trumpeting how in the face of the greatest climate crisis in living memory Liverpool as a city are taking the lead and showing that we are truly a world-class leader in both footballing excellence and the greenest football grounds (The World’s 10 Greenest Football Stadiums)

You can watch the video of the new stadium below:

There are numerous links to the story below – including a challenging article in the Independent by Jonathan Liew questioning the evidence for the claims by Everton FC of the huge economic uplift the stadium will provide.

The Independent 27.07.19 HERE Everton’s new ground poses a fundamental question: can football stadiums still serve the public good?

The Echo 28.07.19 HERE numerous video’s of the stadium proposals for Bramley-Moore Dock

The Guardian 25.07.19 HERE Everton unveil plans for £500m new stadium in Liverpool docklands area

The Express 26.07.19 HERE Seven things we noticed as Everton unveil planes for new state-of-the-art stadium

BBC News 25.07.19 HERE New Everton stadium to ‘rise from Bramley Moore Dock’

The People’s Project HERE Bramley-Moore Dock