Everton have taken another significant step in the development of their new stadium by signing a main construction contract with Laing O’Rourke. The deal will see the company complete works at Bramley Moore dock and locks in costs for the club, preventing the final bill from spiralling.
The new 52,888-capacity stadium on Liverpool’s waterfront is expected to cost in the region of £500m and, despite rising prices throughout the construction industry, the contract gives Everton greater financial certainty over the remaining stages of the build.
Laing O’Rourke has repaired and infilled the dock basin, laid foundations and started work on the four corners of the stadium since signing a pre-contract services agreement in February 2021 and an enabling works contract. The main construction contract commits the company to the full construction of the stadium and public realm, and remedial works to a Grade II listed hydraulic tower which is being brought back into public use by Everton.
Denise Barrett-Baxendale, Everton’s chief executive, said: “This is an important agreement at a crucial time for the club and the stadium project. We are now able to lock in construction costs, while also benefiting from Laing O’ Rourke’s economies of scale in what is an ever-fluctuating marketplace.”
In an email to supporters, the CEO added: “The agreement ensures the work on bringing our new home to reality will continue apace. To explain the significance, this agreement means we have renewed clarity over the costs for the remaining stages of the project – and that clarity is in line with our budget and cost planning. In short – we have certainty in these uncertain times.
“Our accounts, released last month, revealed the profound scale of the impact the pandemic has had, and continues to have, on our club. They also demonstrated, though, the scale of investment we have already made in our new stadium – and the unwavering commitment of our owner [Farhad Moshiri] to finish what he has started.”
Last month Everton announced a loss of £120.9m for the 2020-21 season, bringing their combined losses for the last three years to a staggering £372m. The relegation-threatened club have also suspended sponsorship deals with companies owned or part-owned by Alisher Usmanov, the oligarch who is a business associate of Moshiri and has been hit with sanctions after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Everton attribute £103m of last year’s losses to the impact of the pandemic and, as the Laing O’Rourke contract underlines, remain on course to relocate to Bramley Moore dock in 2024.