Carlisle-based Nigel Catterson's development consortium has been selected by Allerdale and Cumbria County Council to create a visitor attraction at the former munitions depot at Broughton Moor in west Cumbria.
Catterson's Derwent Forest Developments Consortium plans to build an education centre focused on environment and sustainability courses for schools, colleges and universities.
Allerdale and Cumbria bought the 425-hectare site from the Ministry of Defence in 2008 for £1 and marketed it nationally in conjunction with the North West Development Agency and surveyors DTZ.
Derwent Forest Developments Consortium was chosen ahead Esh Developments after being whittled down from an original list of 12 companies expressing an interest in developing the site.
Esh, based in County Durham, worked on the Discovery Museum in Newcastle and, in Derwent, planned a mix of housing, leisure and commercial development.
Allerdale and Cumbria plan to dispose of the site by 21 August 2011 subject to planning conditions.