The Eden Project has been awarded £50m in the second round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to build the 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
Eden Project Morecambe is the new official name for the project, which has previously been known as Eden Project North.
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 £50m investment is half of the £100m 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 £50m from private and philanthropic sources identified as part of the bidding process.
Eden Project Morecambe will be situated on the central promenade of Morecambe, on the former site of the Bubbles leisure complex with the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens and Midland Hotel its near neighbours. The project has been designed in a way which is sensitive and complementary to these important buildings and sightlines across the Bay.
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 £50m 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.
“Five years of work has finally come to fruition and after lobbying four Prime Ministers and six Chancellors and more meetings and debates in Parliament than I can count, I am absolutely delighted we have secured the funding for this project to go ahead.”David Morris, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale
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.”
Regenerating seaside towns is notoriously difficult work but given the strong local partnership with Lancaster University, the expertise gained from the existing Eden project and now the funding allocated from the second round of the Government’s Levelling Up fund, Eden Project Morecambe has as good a chance of anything of attracting tourists and Levelling Up this part of North Lancashire.