Eden Project Morecambe, previously known as Eden Project North, said it has been awarded £50 million in the second round of the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Eden Project Morecambe 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.
Lancaster City Council said the £50 million investment is half of the £100 million needed to build the coastal-themed project.
“The funding allows the project to move into its next phase and begin the process of finalising the remaining £50m from private and philanthropic sources identified as part of the bidding process,” said Lancaster City Council.
“Annual visitor numbers are projected to be 740,000 and additional revenue brought into local businesses due to Eden Project Morecambe is set to exceed the £50m Government investment within months of the project opening.
“Now that the Levelling Up Fund process has concluded, preparation for construction is due to start this year and the aim is for Eden Project Morecambe to be open to visitors by 2026.”
Rob Chatwin, Group CEO of the Eden Project, said: “This is a historic moment for the town of Morecambe and the surrounding area and for the Eden Project and our partners.
“We are delighted that Eden Project Morecambe has been recognised as part of the Levelling Up Fund and we are incredibly grateful to the Government, our partners, David Morris MP and the unique community of Morecambe for their wholehearted support.
“This is a ringing endorsement of the teamwork that has brought Eden Project Morecambe to this point. We will now continue to work hard with our partners to make this vision a reality.”
Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “Here in the Lancaster district we are celebrating the way a uniquely local vision has been turned into an exciting reality.
‘I’m particularly delighted with the new name – Eden Project Morecambe – which confirms its place at the very heart of our community.
“The town is once more very firmly on the map. It has taken hard work and a powerful partnership to reach this moment.
“My thanks go to all who worked so tirelessly in putting together the comprehensive bid.
“This is fantastic news and presents a once in a generation opportunity to reinvent and rejuvenate Morecambe into a 21st-century seaside resort and I’m excited to see work start this year.”
Phillippa Williamson, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “This exciting transformational project will bring a huge boost to Morecambe and its economy, supporting the work we are collectively doing towards Levelling Up and supporting our future ambitions for the county.
“Lancashire continues to be recognised as a great place to invest, especially in sustainable, ambitious and innovative schemes.
“We are very proud to be able to support this project to take its next steps to become a reality for our residents and businesses and are confident it will be a massive success.”