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By ESPN Staff

Reds take 'significant step' towards new stadium

Plans for Liverpool's new stadium have moved a step closer after the award of a crucial £9million European grant on Thursday.

The money from the Objective One scheme is to be used towards the regeneration of community facilities in the Anfield area and was vital to the success of the whole project.

Liverpool's planning permission for the scheme came with the proviso that investment would be made in the surrounding area, including Stanley Park.

The award of the Objective One money means the club have proved to the satisfaction of Liverpool City Council that they have their funding for the rest of the £180million scheme in place.

The Objective One award also means the club will now be able to claim a further £5million from the council and £8.9million from the Northwest Regional Development Agency for the Stanley Park regeneration.

Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry said: 'It's another significant step forward in our plans for the building of a new stadium, which we have always seen as a catalyst for the regeneration of the whole area.'

The new 60,000-capacity stadium is due to be built on a large patch of land that is currently a car park.

The Stanley Park work will involve a new lake, public art and the refurbishment of the historic Gladstone Conservatory. A shop-lined plaza will also be created on the site of the current ground.

Councillor Flo Clucas, chairman of the Objective One project selection sub-committee, said: 'This is a major step forward for the people of Anfield.

'It will underpin substantial investment by other partners whose commitment will help transform the neighbourhood.'