One Cornish project is set to benefit from the second round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, however the money will not be spent in the county.
The Eden Project has been awarded £50-million in the second round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to build its new Eden Project Morecambe in Lancashire.
The bid was submitted by Lancaster City Council, one of the Eden Project’s key partners on the Morecambe attraction, and was chosen as a recipient of the largest investment possible under the fund, earmarked for large-scale cultural regeneration projects.
As the lead for the partnership bid, Lancaster City Council will be the recipient of the funding and will work with partners to ensure it is allocated in accordance with Government requirements.
Eden Project Morecambe is the new official name for the project, which has previously been known as Eden Project North.
Preparatory ground work will now be undertaken on the site on the Morecambe seafront, a vital prelude to construction beginning. The Eden Project team will ensure the community is kept informed about the construction schedule through its social media channels, the local media and a revamped series of community engagement events.
An expanded project delivery team will be created in preparation for the construction phase with details of the first round of recruitment to be announced soon. Around 300 high-quality green jobs will be directly created by Eden Project Morecambe, with more than 1,000 additional new jobs supported in the region.
The £50-million investment is half of the £100-million needed to build the coastal-themed project. The funding allows the project to move into its next phase and begin the process of finalising the remaining £50-million from private and philanthropic sources identified as part of the bidding process.
Annual visitor numbers are projected to be 740,000 and additional revenue brought into local businesses due to Eden Project Morecambe is set to exceed the £50-million Government investment within months of the project opening. Now that the Levelling Up Fund process has concluded, preparation for construction is due to start this year and the aim is for Eden Project Morecambe to be open to visitors by 2026.
Eden Project Morecambe is being delivered by the team behind the first Eden Project in Cornwall, alongside local partners Lancaster University, Lancaster City Council,
Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership. It is one of the key initiatives in an expansion plan that will see Eden Projects built elsewhere in the UK and around the world.
Rob Chatwin, Group CEO of the Eden Project, welcomed today’s news. He said: “This is a historic moment for the town of Morecambe and the surrounding area and for the Eden Project and our partners.
“We are delighted that Eden Project Morecambe has been recognised as part of the Levelling Up Fund and we are incredibly grateful to the Government, our partners, David Morris MP and the unique community of Morecambe for their wholehearted support. This is a ringing endorsement of the teamwork that has brought Eden Project Morecambe to this point. We will now continue to work hard with our partners to make this vision a reality.”