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  • Mitre Jan 17

Hope for Everton stadium plans

Rejected plans for Everton Football Club's new stadium complex could be revived after the Prime Minister urged officials to find a way to salvage the scheme.

The original proposals for a stadium, giant Tesco store and retail park were rejected by the communities secretary, John Denham, over fears it would take business away from Kirkby town centre.

But Prime Minister Gordon Brown would like to see the scheme go ahead and has suggested that it be resubmitted with just the stadium and Tesco store, after planners reported that it was the accompanying retail, and not the supermarket, that presented the planning issue.

It is thought the new stadium would boost England's chances of hosting the 2018 football World Cup as well as providing the area with much needed regeneration.

North West regional minister, Phil Woolas, has been in talks with Knowsley MBC and told local people that he will be pressing for the town centre regeneration regardless of the fate of the stadium proposals.

He has asked that a regeneration blueprint be put in place by next month and said that the town centre work will go ahead even if the stadium never see approval.

'We are all determined to press ahead with the regeneration of Kirkby town centre regardless' he said.

'A blueprint will be in place by next month which will involve retail, public sector, open spaces, and leisure and night-time activities.

'Just because the stadium has been knocked back does not mean that we are prepared to abandon the people of Kirkby.'

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