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  6. Liverpool put on spot over regeneration

Liverpool put on spot over regeneration

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has written to Liverpool Football Club calling for a swift decision on whether it will opt for expanding and redeveloping its existing stadium on Anfield Road or build a brand new one in nearby Stanley Park.

In a letter to the managing director of the club, Ian Ayre, the minister said that the future regeneration of Anfield, one of Liverpool's most deprived communities, rested on this critical decision.

He said that a new or redeveloped stadium would not only allow the club to increase their capacity and improve facilities for players and fans, but would lead to significant regeneration in an area of high deprivation. This would mean new homes, schools and a health centre.

He said: “In the interests of the wider community, the club needs to make a swift decision on whether they plan to build a new stadium or stay where they are - either way the residents around Anfield deserve to know. The delay is causing unnecessary uncertain for the community. Local residents are living in limbo.

"The council has already asked for extra time for the lease on Stanley Park by six months to allow the club time to explore all options, but the quicker Liverpool FC makes a decision, the more options they have."

In a separate development, uncertainty continues to surround Spurs’ plans for new accommodation. The football club is continuing its legal fight over the long-term use of the 2012 Olympic stadium and whether it or West Ham will move there after the games in 2012.

Earlier this year, the Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC) opted for a bid put forward by Championship club West Ham. Tottenham say the decision was unfair and lawyers have been given permission to mount a legal challenge.

However, Spurs are also involved in talks with London Mayor Boris Johnson to remain near its current ground in White Hart Lane in Tottenham, north London

Spurs had been looking for Government and mayoral support over their plans for a bigger ground at a site in Northumberland Park, near White Hart Lane, for several months.

There has been media speculation that Spurs will remain in Tottenham to help regeneration following the recent riots.

Read the Department for Communities and Local Government news release on the Liverpool letter.


Roger Milne

25 August 2011