Land deal struck for Eden Project North
Lancaster City Council has agreed to let the site earmarked for the £85m Morecambe leisure attraction to operator Eden, enabling the scheme to move forward.
In addition, the council has agreed to extend an option for Eden to purchase the site once funding and planning permission have been secured.
Eden Project International chief executive David Harland previously said some of the funding for the Grimshaw-designed scheme would be sourced from the Government, in part from the £281m Stronger Towns Fund.
Cllr Erica Lewis, leader of Lancaster City Council, said this week: “Eden Project North promises to be a transformative project that will deliver considerable social and economic benefits for Morecambe, the district and the region.
“This agreement is the next demonstration of the city council’s commitment to the project. We hope the Government will demonstrate its commitment soon.”
The land set aside for Eden Project North was formerly occupied by the Morecambe Dome and Bubbles leisure complex. The seafront site overlooks Morecambe Bay and is next to the grade two-listed Midland Hotel. Under the proposals, the site would become the location of an immersive visitor experience housed across a series of mussel shell-shaped domes.
A full planning application is due to be submitted in early 2021 with the attraction scheduled to open in 2023 following a two-year construction period. Place North West reported in December that Eden was targeting a 2020 planning submission.
Harland said the land deal is “an important landmark” for Eden Project North. “This site on the Morecambe seafront is an ideal location for us to bring the incredible story of Morecambe Bay to life for our visitors.”
Eden estimates that the scheme will attract 760,000 visitors per year, while being designed to accommodate up to a million with a daily capacity of 4,000 people.