Eden confident of 2020 planning submission

Eden Project North is continuing to target a 2020 submission for the planning application for its £85m Morecambe attraction following a successful public consultation, remaining positive about future Government support despite political uncertainty. 

The Grimshaw-designed Eden Project North is earmarked for a waterfront site at Morecambe Bay, which would become the location of an immersive visitor experience housed across a series of mussel shell-shaped domes. Eden estimates Eden Project North would attract around 760,000 visitors per year, but will be designed to accommodate up to a million, with a daily capacity of 4,000 people.

To finance the early-stage designs and planning, Eden received £250,000 each from Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster University, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council, as well as £100,000 pledged by the Government.

However, the full delivery of the project is understood to be dependent on more extensive Government backing. Previously Eden chief executive David Harland said some of the funding for the £84m scheme would be sourced from the Government, in part from the £281m Stronger Towns Fund.

Earlier this year, Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said he would lobby the Chancellor of the Exchequer to commit funding.

While the political party set to lead country will be decided at the general elections this Thursday, Eden said the proposals had received support from “across the political spectrum”.

An Eden Project spokesperson said: “We have received great support from the whole Morecambe community and from across the political spectrum. We believe that Eden Project North will have huge benefits for Morecambe and the surrounding area, and look forward to working with the incoming Government on making the project a reality.”

Eden held a series of consultation events throughout October, and said “the overwhelming majority” of people who attended voiced their support. According to Eden, more than 2,500 people attended the events, with 99% of attendees voting yes when asked “Are you in favour of Eden Project North?”

A full report of collated feedback will be made available early next year.

Si Bellamy, head of Eden Project International, said: “Our community consultation events were inspiring, engaging and extremely positive. Some fantastic ideas were brought forward by those who attended which will help shape the future of Eden Project North.

“We have now launched an online survey for those who could not come along and see us in person to share their thoughts and ideas. We would encourage everyone to take part and look forward to hearing more of the community’s thoughts.”

Eden began the planning process in June this year by submitting its environmental impact assessment scoping report to Lancaster City Council. Eden Project North is targeting completion in 2023, following a two-year construction period.

Eden Project is now inviting people to provide further input by participating in an online survey, available at www.edenproject.com/north.

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