Planning permission for Eden Project North in Morecambe has been granted at a meeting of the Lancaster City Council planning committee.
“With planning permission granted, securing funding for Eden Project North is now the major focus of the Eden team,” said Lancaster City Council.
“Eden has submitted a business case to the UK Government, asking for a £70m public investment in the £125m project.
“The business case shows that this investment would be paid back many times over in economic benefit for the region.
“Eden Project North would directly employ more than 400 people, with an additional 1,500 jobs supported in the region, and inject £200m per year into the North West economy.”
Subject to funding being secured, Eden Project North is due to open in 2024.
Eden Project North 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, and is one of the key projects in Eden’s plans to expand around the UK and the world.
Eden Project International CEO David Harland said: “Planning permission is a huge milestone on our journey towards making Eden Project North an exemplar project for Morecambe, Lancashire and the North of England.
“The project is now definitively shovel-ready and a compelling financial case has been made to Government.
“We are primed and ready to create this beacon to a green and sustainable future, be part of Levelling Up and drive economic and social enhancements across the region.
“While we are incredibly proud of what we and our partners have achieved so far, we now need UK government support to quickly bring this to fruition and maintain momentum.
“We’re hugely grateful to the Lancaster City Council planners for granting this landmark project planning permission.
“Massive thanks must also go to our partners and the community in the region for supporting us throughout the consultation process.
“We continue to be inspired by the wellspring of positivity we get from the people of Morecambe.”
Lancaster City Council leader Caroline Jackson said: “Eden Project North promises to be the most significant project in our district for a generation.
“It will provide huge benefits to our economy through a commitment to local purchasing and creation of good local jobs, as well as shining a light on sustainable regeneration.
“The granting of planning permission is a major milestone in the project and all that remains now is for the Government to show the same commitment and provide the necessary funding to make it a reality.”
Lancashire County Council leader Phillippa Williamson said: “This is an important milestone for Eden Project North. Planning permission brings the project one step closer to reality and delivering all the transformational benefits for Morecambe, Lancashire, and the North West region.
“The county council, Eden and partners are committed to delivering the project and it is really encouraging to reach this point. The local community are hugely welcoming of the project and their unwavering support in reaching this stage should not be underestimated.
“These are exciting times. The county council and the other partners remain focussed on securing the financial investment the project needs, so we can deliver Eden Project North for Morecambe, Lancashire and the region.”
Lancashire Enterprise Partnership chair Debbie Francis said: ”It is fantastic news that Eden Project North has obtained planning permission and I am delighted that the LEP was able to contribute £1.2m of Growth Deal funding to enable the project to progress to this stage.
”The benefits to both the local and regional economies, in terms of direct employment opportunities and indirectly within supply chains are significant and have the potential to achieve transformational change within some of our key sectors.
“Whilst the economic gains are clear, we cannot underestimate the social, environmental and educational benefits of this project, which is why the LEP is committed to working with Eden and partners to secure the funding to ensure Eden Project North becomes a reality.”
Lancaster University Pro-Vice Chancellor Engagement Sue Black said: “Lancaster University believes Eden Project North will be transformational for both the economic and social development of Morecambe and the wider region, whilst contributing to our commitment to sustainability.
“In granting planning permission today, the committee has given a green light for this exciting project to continue its journey towards becoming a reality.
“The level of public support for Eden Project North is unsurpassed and the local community will be delighted that the project has reached this milestone decision, which recognises the enormous potential it brings.”