Attractions industry news

01 Feb 2022

Full steam ahead – UK's Eden Project North gets planning permission

Plans to create a new Eden Project North attraction in Morecombe UK have been given the green light by planners.

Lancaster City Council approved the £125m proposals which include three shell-shaped pavilions designed by Grimshaw Architects.

The development of the project will be dependent on securing a slice of government funding and in October 2021, current UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, indicated that he and his government were behind the project.

Eden Project North will combine indoor and outdoor experiences, connecting people with the internationally-significant natural environment of Morecambe Bay while also enhancing wellbeing.

As well as exhibits, performance areas, learning and play, the pavilions will house immersive experiences, horticulture, live music, art, food, beverage and retail spaces.

The attraction is set to open in 2024 and it is expected to attract up to one million visitors each year.

Describing the visitor experience, Eden Project said: "The attraction will focus on reimagining health and wellbeing, wonder and entertainment within its core venues.

"It brings together three elements. 'Above the Bay' is an environment filled with plants and art exhibits, showcasing natural abundance and the rhythms of life linked to the sun.

"'Below the Bay' is an immersive series of theatrical experiences that bring to life lunar rhythms and tides.

"'The Natural Observatory' is the home of Eden Project North's research and education programmes.

"These spaces, and others, will be connected within a beautiful and sustainable architectural design. External spaces and landscaping will link the venue sensitively to its location – to Morecambe Bay and to the town.

"Within every space will be ground-breaking immersive experiences that encourage visitors to be curious about the natural world, while art, science, adventure, play and performance will all play a role.

"Building on the work of key partners, in a location of internationally-recognised scientific importance, the collaborative team will seek to make Morecambe Bay a place that is understood and celebrated.

"Morecambe’s motto during its tourism heyday was ‘Beauty Surrounds and Health Abounds’ and we are aiming to recapture that spirit.

"The project has far-reaching environmental, social and economic ambitions, but above all, it will be a day out that inspires this sense of wonder and connection with the natural world."

The visitor attraction is being delivered by the team behind the first Eden Project in Cornwall, alongside a team of local partners including Lancaster University, Lancaster City Council, Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

It is one of the key projects in Eden’s plans to expand around the world.

In May 2021, Eden Project also signed a memorandum of understanding for another site in Dundee, Scotland, while the company is also working on projects around the world, including China.

Find out more about Eden's plans in our interview with David Harland and Tim Smit in the new edition of Attractions Management magazine here.

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