Cornwall's Eden Project to axe up to 70 jobs

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Media captionSir Tim Smit: "The Olympics disappointed us, we had a lot fewer visitors"

Dozens of jobs are under threat at one of the UK's most popular tourist attractions after it announced it had to make cuts worth £2m.

Staff at the Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall have been told up to 70 jobs could be lost.

The job losses equate to 15% of the 450-strong workforce.

The attraction, which was built in a 160-year-old china clay quarry, will formally start consulting on the redundancies on Wednesday.

'Pressure on income'

The Eden Project describes itself as being "the largest indoor rainforest in the world".

In recent years it has also become an outdoor music venue, hosting the likes of Oasis, Lily Allen and the late Amy Winehouse in the Eden Sessions.

In a letter which has been sent to all staff, Sir Tim Smit, Eden's chief executive and co-founder, said: "No sugar-coated pill will ease the anguish for those affected.

"All we can say to those of you who will be leaving is thank you so much for all you have given Eden and we hope you will depart feeling a great deal of pride in all you have achieved in creating a very special place, for now and for the future."

The trust said it had fewer visitors in 2012 due to the Olympics, bad weather, and the recession.

In a statement issued on Monday night, it said: "This, coupled with enormous pressure on income in the charity sector and the well-documented challenges of fundraising in the current economic climate have made it necessary to make substantial cuts to the cost base."

The job losses are planned across all areas of its operation.

The Eden Project Limited is owned by the Eden Trust, a registered UK charity.

According to figures received by the Charity Commission in January, the Eden Project's income for the year ending March 2012 was almost £31m.

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