English Premiership

Liverpool planning Anfield expansion

Liverpool fans at Anfield (Getty Images)
Liverpool fans at Anfield (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Liverpool are planning to expand the Anfield Road stand by 7 000 seats, which would raise the grounds' capacity to 61 000.

The club has been looking into the possibility of expanding Anfield's capacity at the Anfield Road end of the stadium for several years and have announced they have opened a "first-stage public consultation exercise to share early ideas for the proposed expansion" where they will "listen to the views from the local community, local businesses, supporters and key stakeholders".

Existing planning permission, which had proposed an increase of 4 800, has been allowed to lapse and a new, larger proposal looks set to be formally submitted next spring after two phases of public consultation.

The PA news agency reports the work will cost in the region of £60 million and, unlike the main stand refurbishment which was paid for through a £115 million loan secured by owners Fenway Sports Group, the money for this project will come from refinancing at a local level.

There is no timescale as yet for the completion of the new stand, which will have small hospitality capacity, with the majority of seats outlined for general admission tickets, and no further development is being considered at this time.

The new plans are on the footprint of the old planning application, but a redesign has allowed an increased capacity. The work will mean the partial closure of Anfield Road outside the stadium.

Liverpool's chief operating officer Andy Hughes told PA: "They are draft numbers at this stage and there is still a lot of work to do but it would take the overall capacity of Anfield up to 61,000. We are currently just over 54,000. There is a limited amount of room behind Anfield Road at the moment so there is a short section of road which we will need to close.

"The overall footprint of the build and the overall height is very similar to the original planning application and that also included a partial closure of Anfield Road. There is a limited amount of space if you look at the constraints of the site and the Anfield stadium itself and we have spent a long period of time trying to figure out the best design and how we could get more capacity into the stand."

As part of the initial public consultation process, the club has announced drop-in events, which are open to supporters, local residents, businesses, community groups and members of the public, on Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Liverpool, who are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League, host Brighton at Anfield on Saturday.

- TeamTalk Media

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