Everton unveil plans for accessibility improvements

Thursday 12 January 2017  4 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton have unveiled a major development programme for Goodison to improve the stadium's accessibility for disabled fans.

Works in and around the ground will commence this spring in response to regulations for Accessibility agreed by the Premier League and come into affect in August 2017.

In 2015, all Premier League clubs pledged to improve their stadium facilities for disabled supporters and increase the numbers of wheelchair user spaces by August 2017, as set out in the Accessible Stadia Guidance (ASG).

Everton have drafted plans aimed at beginning the process of delivering a range of more expansive viewing options for disabled fans in order to begin to meet the requirements of the  regulations. The plans for the project will be submitted to the City Council by Everton at the end of this month.

Gill Derbyshire, Head of Everton Fan Services, said: “Goodison, as one of the oldest stadiums in the country, poses unique challenges in relation to the regulations. But the stadium manager and his team have worked hard to identify solutions that help the Club begin the process of meeting the regulations and we have held a series of consultation meetings with a number of supporters groups including the Everton Disabled Supporters' Association.

“There will be significant work taking place at the stadium this summer which will result new elevated wheelchair viewing positions as part of the project.

"We were the first Premier League club to employ a Disability Access Officer, one of the key requirements of the new standards. And we are determined to do our utmost to ensure the provision of services for our disabled fans continues to be developed and enhanced in order to improve further the match-going experience for all fans.”

The  planned works will see elevated viewing positions introduced for wheelchair users. These works will be supported by improvements to amenity access and toilet facilities.

Steve Hennigan, Chairman of the Everton Disabled Supporters Association (EDSA) said: “We are so pleased that Everton are making more changes to Goodison to improve access for disabled fans. We know making the structural changes is not easy for the Club, given the age of the stadium, but they have been very supportive in listening to our views and understanding the challenges we have been having with the existing facilities. The works, once complete, will greatly improve the experience on a matchday not only for our members but also disabled home and away supporters. The changes will ensure more disabled supporters can now attend the game from our extensive disabled fan base.”

The Club is continuing to consult with key supporter groups including EDSA, the Everton Fans' Forum, the Everton Supporters' Trust, Level Playing Field and the Centre For Access to Football in Europe (CAFE).

The changes and modifications do mean some existing seating will be removed. All Season Ticket holders affected are being contacted by the Club and a range of relocation options will be provided.

 

Reader Comments (4)

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Paul Hewitt
1 Posted 12/01/2017 at 21:44:55
Excellent news. Well done
Mark Wilson
2 Posted 12/01/2017 at 22:26:45
It's been a long time coming but this sounds like a more substantial development that will be welcomed by disabled supporters. There have been steady improvements in the last five years, but the Old Lady's inherent structural issues have always made it harder to give disabled fans an equal chance to watch us get blathered from a half-decent position in the ground.

Alan Bowen, our Stadium manager, and a very good friend to EDSA and all bluenose disabled supporters, has been frustrated in his efforts to improve the experience at Goodison by finances and building issues but he and others within the club are responding positively to the Accessible Stadium demands not everything to come out of Europe is gloomy Brexit news!!

Seriously tho, great to see the club making this commitment.

Stephen McChrystal
3 Posted 13/01/2017 at 05:11:24
About time too. If I want to go to the match I have to travel 280 miles and it would be nice not to have the away fans bellowing in my right ear. I want to go to Goodison in my wheelchair but I want to be with the real fans.
Tommy Davis
4 Posted 13/01/2017 at 16:39:24
About time indeed, but well done Everton for finally getting round to it! It must be great news for all our disabled fans, who have to endure a lot of crap over the decades, in so many ways!

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