Eden Project bosses have “fallen deeply in love with Morecambe” according to the leader of Lancaster City Council.
And The Visitor can reveal that Eden is working with Grimshaw, the architecture firm which designed the famous Biomes in Cornwall, to create “a unique structure for Morecambe with a focus on the marine environment”.
On Friday November 16 an audience of city councillors and representatives from Lancashire County Council, Lancaster University, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership and the Lancaster District Chamber of Commerce, received a presentation on proposals for a new Eden Project North in Morecambe.
The presentation from Eden Project International provided more detail on the proposals, which aim to create a “nationally significant attraction” on the former Dome and Bubbles site on Morecambe promenade.
Eden Project North would bring a huge economic boost to the town, and be a “game changer” for regeneration.
Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “What was abundantly clear from Friday’s presentation is that Eden have fallen deeply in love with Morecambe.
The town’s unique environment and location are the perfect ingredients for an attraction that has the potential to not only be recognised nationally but also globally.
“It’s estimated that in Cornwall the local economy has benefited to the tune of more than £2billion from the Eden Project – if we can replicate that success locally, which we believe we can, we will not only regenerate the area economically, but also socially and environmentally.
“It’s now important that we get behind Eden and give them our full backing to make their vision a reality.”
Another meeting about the Eden Project this week focused on the transport implications of the project, with plans for a separate transport study. Discussions have also taken place around setting up a “working capital fund”, and the importance of a Strategic Planning Document to ecourage investment.
Last year, the Eden Project in Cornwall welcomed more than one million visitors over a 12 month period.
Detailed plans for an Eden Project development in Morecambe were first drawn up by former Lancaster University student Ian Hughes in April 2013, after he looked at how other seaside towns across the country had turned themselves around.
Ian said he was “just thinking outside the box” when he set to work on a detailed draft document for the former Dome site.
Simon Bellamy, head of Eden Project International, said the vision is to “re-imagine what the 21st century seaside resort could look like”.
He said it will be different from the Cornish site.
“The Eden Project in Cornwall is about the connection with plants, this is about the connection with this wonderful environment here in Morecambe, the bay,” he said.
The plans received official backing from the Chancellor in last month’s Budget after he pledged £100,000 to support the development of the proposals.