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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Progress on the Football Quarter

Keeping Everton in Our City (KEIOC) and Spirit Of Shankly (SOS) have been working together on supporting and enabling North Liverpool Regeneration by using the anchors of Everton FC and Liverpool FC to utilise the historical, tourism, leisure and monetary assets that both football clubs offer to help all members of the supporting communities. 

The focus of this, the use of individual stadia to aid potential regeneration, was raised upon the  launch of this concept in March 2010.

During the past twelve months we have held many constructive discussions with Liverpool City Council, The University of Liverpool, John Moores University, Everton FC, Community groups and others to develop the concept further towards the initial push for a feasibility study into 'The Football Quarter.' As part of these consultations Dr. Alan Southern from The University of Liverpool independently produced a report that attempts to identify the impact that 'The Football Quarter' could provide, how this can be assessed and examples of good use of football clubs to aid wider regeneration and community involvement. The report gives examples of best practice at Leyton Orient, Juventus and Shimizu S-Pulse showing how a Football Club can aid regeneration and community involvement on a variety of levels and scales.

This report has now been sent to Steve Rotheram (MP for Walton), Joe Anderson (Leader of Liverpool City Council), Everton FC, Liverpool FC, local councillors and other associated groups. It will form the basis of further work on the development of  'The Football Quarter' which will include input from all stakeholders and parties with the relevant experience to define the concept further. Dr. Alan Southern added:

"The report looks at how impact from a Football Quarter can occur and how such impact can be measured and evaluated. It is an independent piece based on my work with students at the University of Liverpool. If realised, the Football Quarter would have a social and cultural affect on north Liverpool. I also believe that an argument can be made that it would deliver economic benefits to the local community and to the wider Liverpool city-region. However, to make this a reality requires a strong desire for change, a certain type of leadership and a commitment from the two clubs and city council to the local communities involved."

The full report can be downloaded here

The next stage, our own prospectus, which, centred on expert advice, will provide creative solutions and an overview, including a masterplan and illustrations, of the total concept. We are happy to report that this next step is already firmly underway and both KEIOC and SoS will be holding a city centre event later this year on the past, present and future of football in our great city.

The KEIOC secretary, Colin Fitzpatrick, explains, “The level of interest being shown is encouraging; too many times in the past this city has thoughtlessly squandered cultural history, we have a real opportunity to exploit this phenomenal asset for the benefit of both clubs and their supporting communities.”

Leading academics from Liverpool, a city whose university is acknowledged as being at the forefront of football studies, have stated:

“The most creative thing that I've heard has not come from either of the clubs or I dare I say even the University which is disappointing, it has come from KEIOC and Spirit of Shankly, coming up with this idea of a Sports Zone; unless you have something creative you're not going to crack that financial problem." Tom Cannon.

“A great idea; something which expresses the core of our city culture - something which could entirely rejuvenate the area - and a unique selling point for Liverpool.” Rogan Taylor

KEIOC would like to hear from anyone who can provide additional input from the community or any supporters wishing to become involved in this fascinating and ground breaking concept. Please contact us at and explain how you can be of assistance.

* Aerial photography Brendon Cox.

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