Eden Project North: first plans for £125m project revealed
Plans for the £125m Eden Project North have been submitted to Lancashire County Council for approval.
After years of development and planning, this marks a major milestone for the project, which if approved, is aiming to open on Morecambe Bay's seafront in 2024.
Set on the former site of the Bubbles Leisure Complex which was demolished nearly 20 years ago, the project will have a strong focus on innovation and sustainability and hopes to 'reimagine' the British seaside resort for the 21st century.
Large domes similar to those found in the original Eden Project in Cornwall, (though with a distinct shell-like shape in a nod to its waterfront location) would be surrounded by a series of outdoor gardens, some of which would be accessible to the non-paying public. In addition, the site would feature two restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating and panoramic views over the bay.
The team behind the plans believes it can follow in the footsteps of the original Eden Project in Cornwall, which has become one of the countries best-loved attractions and provided a major boost for the local economy since it opened nearly two decades ago.
The project will directly employ more than 400 staff and is hoping to attract more than one million visitors each year, generating an estimated £200m for the local economy. Phillippa Williamson, leader of Lancashire County Council, described the project as transformational' for Morecambe and the surrounding area, whilst David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, said: "I am sure the council will look favourably on the Eden application as it is what the whole of the community in Morecambe and the wider area want."
The council are expected to make a decision before the end of the year, and there is considerable optimism that it will be a positive one, with David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, telling BBC Radio Lancashire: "It's going to happen. It's a case of when not if."
The Eden Project, Cornwall
One of the UK's best-loved attractions The Eden Project is home to an incredible collection of rare flora sourced from all corners of the globe. Housed in a former clay mine, it is centred around two complexes of adjoining domes that emulate two natural biomes. The larger of the two is home to the biggest rainforest in captivity and a canopy walkway that offers spectacular views over the sea of greenery below, whilst the site is also home to an education centre, a restaurant, shop, a series of outdoor gardens, and an adventure park that features the longest and fastest zip wire in all of England!