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Sunday, November 11, 2007

We can meet Everton's needs pledge Bestway

Owners of the Scotland Rd Loop site, Bestway, are today reaffirming that they can provide Everton with a viable and deliverable plan in the event that The Blues proposed move to Kirkby does not proceed. The company have already completed a series of studies into the future use of the 11 acre city centre site in the event of them moving their wholesale business to a brand new North Liverpool store. The move is being considered as part of the company’s strategy to improve its Merseyside facilities for the benefit of its staff and customers.

Bestway Development Director, Malcolm Carter commented:

”We have studied the Kirkby proposal and Everton’s stated need for a 50-55 thousand seat stadium and there is no doubt that this can be comfortably accommodated on The Loop. In fact, notwithstanding the view taken by Liverpool FC, the report we had commissioned from leading international stadium designers HOK indicates that a larger capacity facility could be accommodated here if required.”

Mr Carter believes that The Loop offers both Everton FC and potentially Liverpool City Council unique benefits in comparison to competing sites. He explained:

”The Loop is a dominant landmark site, and would give the club huge profile and visibility to anyone entering the city centre via Scotland Rd, Islington, Leeds St or The Wallasey Tunnel. It would be a bold statement about Everton Football Club, its history and its association with this area. It would be a fantastic marketing emblem and would

strengthen Everton’s brand and underscore how important this club is to the life of a world renowned city. A city centre stadium at a major transport hub would also give the club much greater potential for revenue generation from corporate events, concerts and conferences.”

”For the City Council, a stadium on the northern edge of the City Centre would provide a massive catalyst for the regeneration of this part of Liverpool. It would drag city centre prosperity northwards and create economic opportunity where it is most visibly needed. None of the out of centre options that have been canvassed could provide the impetus for this kind of holistic regeneration effect.

Mr Carter repeated Bestway’s strong desire to work with partners including the club and Liverpool City Council to further explore The Loop option. He concluded:

”Everyone who has looked at this site can see the potential to create something exceptional that could be a massive driver for this area and the wider city. Everton has never been associated with the safe, the obvious and the conventional. The club has always been about style, sophistication and vision. This idea is too big and too exciting to be ruled out without a great deal of further consideration.”

Bestway’s wholesale retail outlet currently occupies what is known as the `Loop’ site at Scotland Road, Liverpool. This gateway location is the first sight of the city for traffic entering via the Wallasey tunnel, and is also bordered by direct routes into the city centre. It would be a highly visible location for a new stadium development.

Bestway includes banking, cement manufacture, milling and property development as well as its 50 retail depots across England and Wales.

The Bestway Group was founded in 1962 in West London, developing from specialist Asian food stores before entering the wholesale market in 1976 with the opening of its first cash and carry outlet.

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