Liverpool reveal new Anfield vision

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Proposed stadium interior design of the redeveloped Anfield © Liverpool FC

Proposed stadium interior design of the redeveloped Anfield © Liverpool FC

Liverpool FC have released images of their £100m stadium expansion plans, with detailed proposals for the new Main Stand and preliminary outlines for the Anfield Road Stand as part of a huge overall redevelopment.

The club will apply to the council for planning permission this summer, with phase one of the Anfield expansion involving building work on just the Main Stand.

Construction work for the ambitious project is set to begin in early 2015 and it is hoped that the new three-tier Main Stand will be completed by the summer of 2016.

That arm of the expansion will add an extra 8,500 seats to the Main Stand, taking it to nearly 21,000 seats and Anfield’s overall capacity to approximately 54,000 for the 2016/17 season. That number would increase to around 59,000 with the redevelopment of the Anfield Road Stand in phase two of the project.

Public consultation and exhibitions on the proposals are scheduled for this week and the club is asking for residents, fans and local businesses to give their views as part of its planning application.

Liverpool’s managing director Ian Ayre said: “It’s absolutely a significant step forward. With the club stepping forward on the pitch this season it’s fitting and great that we’re able to feel that we’re making progress on the stadium.

Proposed Main Stand design of the redeveloped Anfield © Liverpool FC

Proposed Main Stand design of the redeveloped Anfield © Liverpool FC

“We are going into a consultation process on planning and then the next level of certainty for us, post the properties, is the planning stage. We can’t just presume that we’ll get planning but again we’d like to be optimistic about that.

“We started this journey just over 18 months ago and a lot of work has already been done, there is still an incredible amount to do, but good progress has been made so far and we are proud to be able to unveil our plans.”

The £100m cost of the redevelopment will be partly financed by a lucrative naming rights deal for the stand with a major sponsor. However, the stadium’s name will not change.

Current season ticket holders in the Main Stand can rest easy knowing that there will be minimal impact on capacity during construction, with most of the work happening above and behind the existing structure.

The decision has been made to build a specially-designed cloister at the back of the Main Stand which will become the new home for the Hillsborough Memorial, following discussions with the families of the 96. The iconic Shankly Gates will also be moved as part of the redevelopment but the Bill Shankly statue will remain in place behind The Kop.

Proposed design of the redeveloped Anfield © Liverpool FC

Proposed design of the redeveloped Anfield © Liverpool FC

In October 2012, Liverpool City Council announced its plans to transform the Anfield area with a comprehensive regeneration plan. It was at this time that LFC confirmed its commitment to expand its stadium.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “This is another important step in our ambitions to transform the Anfield area, bringing new jobs, investment and housing.

“The overall regeneration of Anfield will see £260m invested in the local community and will deliver hundreds of jobs – Liverpool Football Club’s proposals for the stadium are a key part of this.

“We are all committed to delivering a brighter future for Anfield and the club’s exhibition is a clear signal that real progress is being made with all our plans.”

About Jack Birch, JMU Journalism