Watch Morecambe business owners voice their delight over Eden Project funding announcement

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Morecambe business owners have spoken of the ‘fantastic’ news that Eden Project Morecambe has got £50m funding from the government.

The Lancaster Guardian spoke to people with businesses in Morecambe to get their reaction and thoughts after last night’s announcement that Eden Project Morecambe £50m funding had been given the green light.

Lee Clarke of the Bayside Emporium in Morecambe said he was ‘delighted and it was just amazing but just sinking in really.’

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Lee said: "It’s totally a gamechanger for Morecambe, Morecambe is the most beautiful place in the country and its just because of the way the economy is and the way seaside towns are it can’t carry on like this, its beautiful I mean look at today it's an absolute fantastic day and its lovely across the bay and the place will be empty all winter. Its going to be busy all year round now in Morecambe, its great in summer but its a bleak place in winter. The educational aspect to it, you know the university involved and local children, children from all over Lancashire in fact all over the country, it’s just going to be a fantastic thing, it’s amazing.

Lee Clarke of Bayside Emporium in Morecambe.Lee Clarke of Bayside Emporium in Morecambe.
Lee Clarke of Bayside Emporium in Morecambe.

“I think it will be difficult for some people like anywhere, I think that property will go sky high, I think it will be more difficult for young people to get on the property ladder but there will be more jobs there will be opportunities that way its difficult to say Im looking at it from the town’s prosperity it will be great as long as the little people don’t get forgotten.

"It will have a massive effect on the local economy they are saying 300 jobs, that’s a lot of jobs, but the associated jobs like the shops on the promenade, the bars, the restaurants, the pubs, Morecambe is going to be booming. It’s just going to be a wonderful thing.

"Hopefully now something will be done with the Winter Gardens, and obviously the land at the former Frontierland, that’s obviously going to be developed as a result, the whole of Morecambe is going to be fantastic.”

Ruth Wilkinson, chair of Morecambe BID and owner and founder of The Consult Centre, said: “When I heard the bid for £50m funding for Eden Project Morecambe had been successful, I was absolutely elated for the people of Morecambe and the businesses of Morecambe. As part of Morecambe BID we have been working on this with Eden and the local council and county council for over four years now so its been incredible to see it come to fruition, I think its just going to be just one of the best things that Morecambe has seen in a very long time.

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Ruth Wilkinson, chair of Morecambe BID and owner of The Consult Centre in Morecambe.Ruth Wilkinson, chair of Morecambe BID and owner of The Consult Centre in Morecambe.
Ruth Wilkinson, chair of Morecambe BID and owner of The Consult Centre in Morecambe.

"I think it is a gamechanger for Morecambe, it gives Morecambe confidence and it gives other people confidence in Morecambe, other investors, other businesses, people within Morecambe, educational opportunities, job opportunities, its going to be something that is going to be bringing a huge amount of prosperity to the region.

"Morecambe has been a holiday resort for a very long time, and during Covid it had a resurgence of people coming to visit because they were falling back in love with the seaside, and our outstanding natural beauty, so I think it might enhance it but I think we've always had that holiday destination we just need to make it a venue destination as well now.

"It will have a massive impact on the economy, there are 300-500 jobs being created just with the Eden Project Morecambe but its forecast for 3,000 in total when you look at the supply chain and the surrounding areas, and all the increases in hospitality and stays and stuff so you think about all that money going back into Eden and going back into the project itself and also into the local economy I think it will be an absolute revolution for Morecambe.”

Tim Barbary owner of Brittlestar wine bar and coffee house in Morecambe said: “When I heard the news that Morecambe had got the £50m funding for the Eden Project I was ecstatic, over the moon, complete game changer for the business, for the area, we are absolutely over the moon, it’s fantastic news.

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Tim Barbary, owner of Brittlestar wine bar and coffee house.Tim Barbary, owner of Brittlestar wine bar and coffee house.
Tim Barbary, owner of Brittlestar wine bar and coffee house.

"It will have a good effect on the economy definitely, we see it in the summer when the visitors are here, the business takes off, come the winter its absolutely quiet, so I think this will make every day a summer’s day, winter will be busy, its a gamechanger for the area, especially Morecambe seafront.

"This is just the start, all the empty buildings on Morecambe seafront will be snapped up, people will be buying them, the whole economy in the area, I own a security company and other nightclubs, all the businesses will thrive from this without a doubt, without a shadow of a doubt.

"I hope other businesses will invest in Morecambe, and I hope local businesses will keep investing in Morecambe, we are a small local wine bar, we need the local chains as well. the local pubs to get back open again, hopefully it won’t be all the big chains that come in, hopefully we can keep as much of it local as possible.

"I’m from Cornwall and I left St Austell when the Eden Project was being built so I know a lot of my friends went to work there during the build and then later on when I go back home to visit Cornwall I go back and visit Eden there with the family, its just a complete game changer for the area. Morecambe sleepy seaside town is no more, so it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Francesca Sewell, owner of Lewis’s Ice Cream and Coffee Shop said: “I’m pleased that it will do a lot for Morecambe, it will bring a lot of people into the town.

"There will be snags along the way I’m sure but it will definitely be beneficial and improve Morecambe as a holiday resort.

"It will be good for the area in terms of conservation and the children will learn a lot there. For the local people it will create jobs all round.

"It will look very different but I’m sure it will look nice.

"It will take some of the view away from some businesses but I think the view from it will be good as well.

"We will find it very hard to get used to the change if part of the promenade is pedestrianised for Eden Project Morecambe, it will feel very different.”