Plans to transform the area around Liverpool's stadium have been given the thumbs up by the majority of people in Anfield.
Residents and businesses have backed the proposed £260m Anfield regeneration plan which has been designed to breathe new life into north Liverpool.
A consortium led by Liverpool City Council with support from Your Housing Group, Liverpool Football Club and other partners including Keepmoat Ltd unveiled a vision in June to transform the Anfield area of the city close to and around the stadium.
More than 1,700 members of the public, mainly those living and working in the affected areas, provided valuable feedback during a six-week community engagement which will now help shape the proposals.
The vast majority of people – more than 80% – backed the ideas which were unveiled.
Those ideas included new housing, shopping facilities, public space, office buildings, a hotel and the creation of a major new pedestrian-friendly avenue and public square.
There is also a proposal to complete the restoration of Stanley Park and to build a food hub at its centre which would offer food retail units, production and training facilities.
As part of the scheme, Liverpool Football Club has stated its preference is to expand its stadium subject to detailed feasibility studies and the community and home owners’ support.
Altogether, the proposals could amount to some £260m investment and create 700 long-term jobs in one of the most deprived areas of the city.
During a community engagement programme in which residents, visitors and businesses were asked what they thought of the plans, some 97 per cent agreed it was important to improve the street scene and environment and 85 per cent supported the plans for a revitalised high street.
A further 83 per cent backed the plans for Stanley Park and 78 per cent supported the proposals for improved match day experiences.
About 79 per cent of those questioned backed plans for improved housing and neighbourhood and more than 90 per cent of people supported the call for Walton Breck Road to become a more vibrant community centre both on and off match days.
After taking into account people’s views, the ideas which make up the Anfield vision are to be drawn together into a spatial regeneration framework which will be subject to a formal public consultation period before being considered for official endorsement by the city council.
The results of that consultation will be used to create an overall plan – called a strategic regeneration framework – before the submission of detailed planning applications in relation to the various projects next year.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: "People have given us invaluable information about the entire range of regeneration ideas and concepts which we unveiled. In the coming weeks we will use this information to refine our proposals and to undertake another listening and consultation exercise. We believe the plans are exciting and will deliver a massive improvement in quality of life for many thousands of people and be of major benefit to the city not just Anfield.”
Your Housing Group chief executive Brian Cronin said: "We are extremely pleased at the response from residents and other stakeholders. They have given us insight into their issues and concerns but have been overwhelmingly supportive of the plans. Much has already been achieved in Anfield through the determination of community leaders and residents and we passionately believe more will be done in coming months and years.”
Liverpool Football Club managing director Ian Ayre said: "The findings of this community engagement exercise are a key milestone in the wider regeneration of the Anfield area and another important step towards transforming the area for the better. The Club has a track record of working successfully with the city council and others to drive forward improvements to the area, having made a major investment towards the transformation of Stanley Park, and we will use this feedback to help inform our plans as we go forward.”
•Residents will get the opportunity to talk to the partners about the findings on Sunday September 8 at the Liverpool International Music Festival in Stanley Park. There will also be an evening drop in session at the Anfield Project Office, 60-62 Burnand Street, on Thursday September 12.
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