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News Archive > General > Eden asks for £70m of public cash for northern project

Eden asks for £70m of public cash for northern project

By Natasha Swift 29th November 2020

Eden asks for £70m of public cash for northern project
United Kingdom – Eden Project North

The Eden Project is asking for £70m of public funding to create a northern outpost on the coast of Lancashire - just weeks after axing more than 100 workers at its flagship attraction in St Austell. 

Bosses at the world’s largest indoor rainforest have submitted a business case for the Government cash to help turn the Eden Project North in Morecambe into a reality.
Eden Project North is being delivered by the team behind the first Eden Project in St Austell - 400 miles away from Morecambe - and is one of the key projects in Eden’s plans to expand around the UK and world.

The project in the north, which is being hailed as “a major new exemplar attraction”, seeks to reimagine the British seaside resort for the 21st century.
The plan is for a year-round destination that combines indoor and outdoor experiences, connecting people with the internationally-significant natural environment of Morecambe Bay while also enhancing wellbeing.

The detailed, 140-page business case presents Eden Project North as a key driver of the UK’s post-Covid green recovery and shows that it is a “shovel-ready” project ,which would deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits for Lancashire and the wider North West region, as well as contributing to the wider levelling-up agenda and the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan.

It is projected to attract around one million visitors a year and directly employ more than 400 people. 
The business case estimates a visitor spend of more than £200m per year in the region, not including money spent at Eden Project North, which would support an additional 1,500 jobs.
In total, the business case projects that the eventual cost of Eden Project North will be £125m. 

This will be a bitter pill to swallow for the 169 workers, who lost their jobs at Eden’s St Austell attraction in September.

In July Eden announced that nearly half of its workforce was in line for the chop after losing more than £7m due to the coronavirus pandemic and launched a six week consultation process. 

Bosses said the job losses were a last resort, but “sadly inevitable” due to the “devastating” impacts of the virus on its finances and scale of operations.

Eden’s Biomes were closed for more than three months during national lockdown.
One former worker, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Voice they felt Eden asking for £70m of public money for this new project was a “kick in the teeth” to staff who had been made redundant. 

Eden said it is seeking a mixture of private and public funds to make up the difference beyond any central Government funding for the project in the north. 

Chief executive of Eden Project International, David Harland, said: “This is a major milestone for Eden Project North, a moment when we have presented the Government with what we know is a compliant, comprehensive and compelling case for investment.

“The world has changed beyond measure this year and it is imperative as we come out of the pandemic that our collective focus is on a recovery that stimulates the economy, is environmentally forward looking and creates meaningful, green collar jobs. 

“Our firm belief is that Eden Project North does all of these things and will be transformative for Morecambe and the surrounding region.

“As always, we are hugely grateful for the hard work and support of our partners on this project, in particular Lancashire County Council who worked closely with us on the development of this business case. The community in Morecambe and the wider North West region have been an inspiration to the team during the development of this project and we’re looking forward to continuing to collaborate with them as we progress.”

By Natasha Swift 29th November 2020

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