New Everton stadium plan

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The Independent Online

Everton could move from Goodison Park into a bigger stadium on the outskirts of Liverpool in a deal overseen by the chief executive of Tesco, Terry Leahy.

Everton want to move from their historic 40,000-capacity home in the centre of the city to a larger stadium and are considering several sites. One of them is a move to the housing estates of Kirkby, outside the city boundary, under a deal between Knowsley Council and Tesco.

Leahy, who is a Toffees fan, yesterday spoke of his hopes that the supermarket group would do the deal.

"It's in the early stages. It's a development in conjunction with Knowsley Council as part of a regeneration of Kirkby and if it happens it will be a good thing for the town centre," he said.

"But it's in the early stages. The proposal has just been announced and it has to go through all the relevant planning stages." Tesco's plan - which a local newspaper estimates would cost £250m - would involve Knowsley council handing over land worth £50m.

The stadium would be part of a new complex, including a Tesco supermarket and possibly a hotel and retail park. However Liverpool City Council is keen to keep the club within its boundary.

A spokeswoman for Knowsley Council said that no planning application had yet been submitted for the scheme. She said: "It's one of a number of sites Everton are considering. Tesco has expressed an interest. It would be part of a wider retail and leisure redevelopment." However, she did confirm that the council had identified a suitable site.

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