Liverpool have officially ‘broken ground’ on the new Anfield Road End stand, and with no home game for four weeks after Sunday’s visit of Man City it will give the project a running start.
Kevin Underwood, the honorary vice-president of the contractor, The Buckingham Group, spoke to This Is Anfield and outlined the next steps for the construction process.
“The foundations first. Fortunately, we’re on good soil and rock here, so there’s no need for piles [piling foundations],” explains Underwood. “There will be 7,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete to go into the stand.
“Then 4,800 tonnes of structural steelwork. Then we’ll be putting the ‘envelope’ on the building, making it basically weather tight, then that will enable us to get in, finish all the internal walls, mechanical, electrical installations – basically get the job finished!”
Construction on the new stand, taking Anfield’s overall capacity to around 61,015, is due to complete in 2023.
That means that next winter will be a key part of the project and will arrive at a time when the World Cup 2022 is taking place. That means no home games for around six weeks and thus the site itself will not need to ‘hand over’ around matchday.
“It’s going to be an important time in the project, that’s going to be a help for us,” acknowledged Underwood.
The Buckingham Group have been involved in stadium projects at Brighton, MK Dons, Wolves and Cardiff previously, but this one – that will make Anfield the third-largest in the Premier League – elevates them to the next level.
“It’s not the biggest [project] but if not the most prestigious it’s certainly right up there [for us],” said Underwood. “We’re thrilled to be doing the project and it does feel like we’ve been elevated to the top of the Premier League, to use that analogy!
“A club of this heritage and legacy, it is fantastic as a construction company, to be here.
“The look and feel of this particular stadium is unique. The red brick, with the grey top on the roof, will be the same on all the stands and I’m sure when all the building work is finished it will look fantastic.”
Work on the new stand will not affect attendances at Anfield during the 18-month construction process.
The building work, which involves a re-route of Anfield Road itself, will take place throughout the season while matches continue to be played.
The lower tier of the Anfield Road End will be retained and connected to the new upper tier, as was the process with the Main Stand.
The new stand will match the Main Stand in height and aesthetics, with a large fan park and improved facilities for supporters.
The new Anfield Road End will hold 15,967 supporters, which is almost 3,000 more than the Kop.