Lancashire

Eden Project North could open in 2023, bosses say

Artist impression of the Eden Project North Image copyright Grimshaw Architects
Image caption The charity estimates the Morecambe attraction will attract 760,000 visitors a year

The northern version of the Eden Project could open by spring 2023, bosses have said.

Outline plans for the attraction on Morcambe Bay's seafront, featuring five giant "mussel-shaped" domes, have been submitted to Lancaster City Council.

If approved, the Eden Project charity hopes to start work on the £85m ($107m) development by next year.

It estimates the seaside revamp will attract 760,000 visitors a year to the resort town.

The charity has previously said the attraction, on the former Bubbles swimming pool site, will include "gardens, performance spaces, immersive experiences and observatories".

Proposals reveal plans for indoor and outdoor spaces - with an arena able to hold 4,000 people.

It will stand at 37m (121ft) high - no higher than the Grade II listed Midland Hotel.

"We are really hoping we are able to get some spades in the ground by the back end of next year, " said Si Bellamy, head of Eden Project International.

He said it would probably be a "two-and-a-bit-year build" and "potentially opening in the late Spring of 2023".

Mr Bellamy said a public consultation would start in the summer, and the charity aimed to submit environmental statements and planning applications early next year.

Image copyright Grimshaw Architects
Image caption There are plans for an outdoor arena with capacity to hold 4,000 people

Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster University, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council have each provided £250,000 towards design and planning costs on top of £100,000 from the government.

The Eden Project said its Cornwall attraction has had more than 21m visitors since it opened in 2001.

It had more than 1m visitors last year, according to the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions.

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