Eden Project North
Subject to funding and planning approval, the project could complete by 2023

Final push for £70m Eden North funding ahead of Budget 

Dan Whelan

Leaders from across the region have signed a letter urging Chancellor Rishi Sunak to allocate a significant chunk of the £125m required to build the Morecambe attraction. 

Eden Project International, the company developing Eden Project North, lodged a 140-page business case to the Government in November, asking for £70m to get the scheme off the ground. The request has been backed by leaders from across a variety of sectors, including health, education and business, ahead of Wednesday’s budget.

The letter to the Government describes Eden Project North as “a once in a generation opportunity…that dramatically delivers on the Government’s levelling up policy agenda, and the trust and faith that the people of the North of England have placed in change.” 

Co-signatories of the letter include: 

  • Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health for Lancashire County Council 
  • John Roberts, founder and chief executive of Bolton-based appliances retailer AO 
  • Morecambe-born designer Wayne Hemmingway 
  • Alan Milburn, former Secretary of State for Health and current chancellor of Lancaster University 

Scroll down for a selected list of co-signatories  

David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, said: “We’re heartened to have received such passionate support from such a wide variety of Northern leaders and hope that the Government can see that Eden Project North will be enormously beneficial for the region. 

Eden Project North 1

Eden Project North is predicted to cost £125m in total

“It is clear to everyone involved in this project that the community is completely behind Eden Project North and we know that they are as determined as us to make a success of this vision. We urge the Prime Minister and Chancellor to support Eden Project North in the Budget next week.” 

Eden is seeking a mixture of private and public funds to make up the difference beyond any central Government funding tat may be allocated on Wednesday. 

The developer unveiled its proposals for the project, to be built on a waterfront site at Morecambe Bay in Lancashire, in 2018. Eden Project North, designed by Grimshaw Architects, is to be an immersive visitor experience housed across a series of mussel shell-shaped domes.

The development intends to focus on educating visitors on the marine habitat and ecology of the adjoining Morecambe Bay, among other aims.   

There would be two main biomes: Above the Bay would be filled with plants and art installations, while Below the Bay would contain a series of immersive and dramatic theatrical experiences, according to Eden Project International.   

The scheme would also include an outdoor arena for live music and performances 

Eden Project North is projected to attract around one million visitors a year and directly employ more than 400 people, according to a 140-page business case submitted to the Government in November. 

Eden’s partners in the Morecambe project are Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council, Lancaster University and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. 

Subject to funding and planning approval, the project could complete by 2023.

Selected list of co-signatories

Rt. Hon. Alan Milburn, Chancellor, Lancaster University 

Rt. Hon. The Lord Shuttleworth, Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire 

Rt. Hon. The Lord Cavendish of Furness 

Rt. Hon. The Lord Inglewood 

Rt. Hon. The Baroness Valentine 

Rt. Hon. The Lord Judd 

Rt. Hon. The Baroness Ruth Henig 

Rt. Hon. The Lord Liddle 

Tim Farron MP 

Wayne Hemingway MBE 

Wolfgang Buttress 

Academic

Professor Andy Schofield, vice chancellor, Lancaster University 

Professor Steve Bradley, deputy vice chancellor, Lancaster University 

Professor Dame Sue Black, pro-vice chancellor, Lancaster University 

Mr Oliver Robinson, president, Lancaster University Student Union 

Dr John Cater, vice chancellor, Edgehill University 

Mr Wes Johnson, principal, Lancaster & Morecambe College 

Mr Andrew Wren, principal, Furness College 

Mr Fazal Dad, principal, Blackburn College 

Professor Graham Baldwin, vice chancellor, University of Central Lancashire 

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, chair of Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust 

Local Authority & LEP

Cllr Geoff Driver, leader, Lancashire County Council 

Angie Ridgwell, chief executive, Lancashire County Council 

Cllr Dr Erica Lewis, leader, Lancaster City Council 

Kieran Keane, chief executive, Lancaster City Council 

Sam Plum, chief executive, Barrow Council 

Cllr Giles Archibald, leader, South Lakeland Council 

Lawrence Conway, chief executive, South Lakeland Council 

David Taylor CBE, DL, interim chair. Lancashire Enterprise Partnership 

Sarah Kemp, chief executive, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership 

 Civic

Cllr Malcolm Thomas, Mayor of Lancaster 

Catherine Penny DL, high sheriff of Lancashire 

Pam Barker, Constable of Lancaster Castle 

Yak Patel, chief executive, Lancaster District Community and Voluntary Solutions 

Sue McGraw, chief executive, St. John’s Hospice 

Business

John Roberts, Founder and chief executive, AO 

Annette Bramley, director, N8 Research Partnership 

Sarah Longlands, director, IPPR North 

Mal Garnett, president, Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce 

Nick Wilkinson, chair of Lancaster Business Improvement District 

Tony Johnson, manager, Lancaster Business Improvement District 

John O’Neill, manager, Morecambe Business Improvement District 

Jenny Natusch, founder, Escape2Make 

Jolyon Brewis, partner, Grimshaw Architects 

Paul May, executive director, Tivandi Ltd 

David Dawson, trustee and secretary, Save the Grange Lido  

Phil Bradby, Chair, Save the Grange Lido

Health

Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, director of public health, Lancashire County Council

Dr Amanda Doyle OBE, chief officer ICS, Lancashire and South Cumbria

Dr Andy Knox, director of population health for Morecambe

Your Comments

Read our comments policy here