- Project Anfield Road Stadium extension
- Client Liverpool Football Club
- Project Lead Kieron Hammatt, Operations Manager Lifting & Safety
- Key Benefit Highly bespoke lifting solution developed using company-wide expertise provided by MGF
This high profile project involved expanding the overall capacity at Liverpool Football Club’s Anfield Road Stadium with an extra 7,000 seats. As a result of the £80million programme of work taking place, the ground is now capable of holding more than 61,000 people.
The new stadium roof was constructed over the existing roof structure so that the club could continue to play at home. Not only did this allow the expansion to be carried out while Anfield Road was still in use.
MGF were contacted by Ainscough Crane Hire Limited to collaborate on designing and manufacturing bespoke lifting beams for the roof removal. Together, the two organisations combined their strengths, expertise, and commitment to tackle such a challenging project.
This case study looks to expand on their collaboration, demonstrating how it overcame the issues faced and allowed Liverpool Football Club to remove the existing roof whilst construction of the new roof had occurred above it. This collaboration highlights the significance of working relationships in influencing the future of construction and engineering.
MGF’s Structural Support Solutions team had already been tasked with designing support towers to support the roof when being cut into sections for removal. Given MGF’s pre-existing understanding of and involvement with the project, as well as their unrivalled specialist expertise, MGF’s Lifting Team where appointed to design two sets of bespoke underslung lifting beams. Once in place, the beams enabled the old stand roof to be safely lowered down to pitch level where it was cut up and removed.
“It was imperative we got it right because once the roof had been cut and lifted, there was no way it could be put back – there was zero room for error,” explains Kieron.
“This was a large-scale project with multiple elements. We leveraged our expertise from right across our R&D, engineering, manufacturing divisions and used our in-house LEEA engineers to provide the highly tailored solution that was required. Given the fact the headroom restrictions on the beam were so tight, we supplied 100% HMPE round slings, which enabled us to keep the headroom to an absolute minimum.”Operations Manager (Lifting & Safety), Kieron Hammatt
When developing the beams, MGF’s Lifting Team had to incorporate two 500+ tonne crawler cranes that were positioned on the pitch and were creating minimal headroom (2.1 metres) and travel room (800mm). The solution involved making sure the beams cradled the main support trusses within the roof, enabling it to be safely cut free and lowered to the ground.
In addition, the roof’s centre of gravity was not central, which resulted in MGF’s engineers having to consider varying different weight distributions and changing the lift point locations to complement the cutting plans. Overall, MGF provided extensive support that tapped into the wealth of expertise that exists across the entire company.
“From the outset, MGF demonstrated an unparalleled level of commitment and expertise that was essential to the project’s success. After conceptual design from us, MGF’s involvement in designing and manufacturing bespoke lifting beams to remove the old stadium roof was instrumental in achieving our goals.
The challenges we faced were substantial, with tight headroom and travel room restrictions due to the presence of enormous crawler cranes on the pitch. Additionally, the uneven distribution of the roof’s weight required intricate calculations and precise lift point adjustments. In such a high-stakes project, there was absolutely no room for error.
MGF’s Lifting Team, with their profound understanding of the project and their vast specialist knowledge, rose to the occasion brilliantly. They developed lifting beams that cradled the roof’s main support trusses, enabling us to safely cut and lower the roof sections. The level of precision and care taken by MGF’s engineers in addressing the project’s unique challenges was truly commendable.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable aspects of our collaboration with MGF was their ability to deliver the custom lifting solution within an astonishingly short timeframe of less than four weeks. This efficiency and dedication ensured that the project remained on schedule.”David Baxter, Ainscough’s Technical Contract Manager
Working in close collaboration with Ainscough Crane Hire throughout, MGF’s Lifting Team designed, certified and supplied the lifting beams within less than four weeks.
The final solution was two pairs of beams with an overall lifting capacity of 120 tonne. At the same time, MGF’s Structural Support Solutions’ Team also
ensured that the Unishore Towers used to deliver their element of the project were designed to adequately support the roof while it was being cut into sections, before being lifted to the ground, utilising the four bespoke beams. A significant amount of technical calculations were carried out in advance by the Lifting Team to ensure the off-centre gravity point was accurately accounted for.
“In 2021, MGF made a strategic move by establishing our Lifting & Safety division. Prior to significant investments in this new division, we engaged in extensive discussions with our valued existing customers to gather their feedback on this market segment. Our fundamental values revolve around commitment, innovation, and sustainability – principles that we believe have been effectively put into practice on this project. Our partnership with Ainscough and Liverpool Football Club has enabled us to leverage our expertise, and we anticipate future collaborations with Ainscough on challenging engineering lifting projects.”Chris Whitworth