Coronavirus: Liverpool forced to delay Anfield Road expansion

Image: The expansion will increase Anfield's capacity to 61,000

Liverpool have delayed the proposed expansion of their Anfield Road stand by at least a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The plans to accommodate 7,000 additional seats and raise Anfield's capacity to 61,000 will not be completed until summer 2023 at the earliest.

Liverpool had aimed to submit a planning application this spring, having began a two-stage consultation with local residents, businesses and supporters last November.

However, they have held off as the planning application is no longer time-sensitive.

Computer generated image showing outside of new Anfield Road Stand
Image: A computer-generated image showing the outside of the new Anfield Road Stand

Andy Hughes, Liverpool's chief operating officer, said: "We have experienced a number of delays to the planned project as a direct result of the Covid-19 lockdown.

"Given the challenges that many sectors are facing right now, including the construction, procurement and public sectors, we are taking a responsible approach to pause the project for at least 12 months.

"The complex build programme for Anfield Road is an 18-month process and needs two clear summer closed season windows in order for it to be successful. This is why we are pausing on the project for at least 12 months so the earliest we could complete the programme is summer 2023 rather than summer 2022 as originally planned.

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"Given the planning application is no longer time critical, it is our intention to submit our planning application at some stage during the next 12 months.

"We will use this period to review and consider options. When the football calendar and the wider delays to the construction and supply chain industries begin to plateau, we will provide further updates."

The Anfield Road expansion will see the number of general admission seats go up to 5,200, 400 more than the 4,800 proposed in the first-stage consultation, while the remaining 1,800 seats will be lounge/sports bar-style hospitality.

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