The money from Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) will go towards the development work needed to prepare a planning application for Eden Project North in Morecambe.
The £1.2m will fund the next stage of the design work, carrying out the environmental impact and sustainable transport work required for planning consent, as well as further developing project content.
Eden aims to complete this work in time to submit a planning application next year (2021), with the project set to open to the public in 2024.
The LEP is one of four regional partners on Eden Project North, the others being Lancashire County Council, Lancaster City Council and Lancaster University.
The funding is part of the Lancashire Growth Deal. In the past three years, the LEP has secured £320m of Growth Deal investment from the Government’s Local Growth Fund. Growth Deal funding is designed to help improve and upgrade existing commercial infrastructure, kick-start new economic initiatives, and unlock additional private investment to drive further growth across the county.
Eden is seeking a mixture of private and public funds to make up the difference beyond any central government funding
Eden Project North will be a major new exemplar attraction in Morecambe that seeks to reimagine the British seaside resort for the 21st century.
The plan is for a year-round destination that combines indoor and outdoor experiences, connecting people with the internationally-significant natural environment of Morecambe Bay while also enhancing wellbeing.
David Harland, Chief Executive of Eden Project International, said: “We are hugely grateful to the LEP for their longstanding support of our Eden Project North vision. This generous funding is the latest manifestation of our close and enduring working relationship and we look forward to progressing the planning application, bringing Eden Project North ever closer to reality.”
Steve Fogg, Chair of the LEP, said: ”The Eden Project North will provide immense economic benefits to Lancashire and the wider region…Eden is an international brand which will not only attract visitors to the area, but will create significant job opportunities directly and indirectly in our local supply chains.”
A recently-submitted business case to the government presented Eden Project North as a “shovel-ready” project which would deliver significant economic, environmental and social benefits for Lancashire and the wider North West region, as well as contributing to the wider levelling-up agenda and the government’s 25-year Environment Plan.
Eden Project North is projected to attract around one million visitors a year and directly employ more than 400 people. The business case estimates a visitor spend of more than £200m per year in the region (not including money spent at Eden Project North) which would support an additional 1,500 jobs.
In total, the business case projects that the eventual cost of Eden Project North will be £125m. Eden is seeking a mixture of private and public funds to make up the difference beyond any central government funding.
Eden Project North is being delivered by the team behind the first Eden Project in Cornwall and is one of the key projects in Eden’s plans to expand around the UK and the world.] In November, Eden hosted a live online conversation with representatives from its four Eden Project North partners. View the session here.