Morecambe's £85million Eden Project reveals plans for 4,000-seat arena on seafront

The Eden Project has revealed further details of its plans for an £85million development on Morecambe's seafront.

Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 9:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 10:29 am
An artists impression of Eden Project North, a proposed new attraction for Morecambe Pic: Grimshaw Architects

The first planning report for the proposed Eden Project North attraction has been submitted to Lancaster City Council today (Tuesday, June 18).

The report is the first stage in the preparation of the Environmental Impact Assessment and planning application for Eden Project North.

Submitted by Eden Project International Limited (EPIL), the new report outlines further details on the proposed £85m development.

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An artists impression of the Eden Project proposed for Morecambe in Lancashire. Pic: Grimshaw Architects

It reveals plans to combine indoor and outdoor attractions, connecting people with the natural environment of Morecambe Bay whilst also "enhancing well-being".

The report said the project will reflect Morecambe’s rich heritage, offering "a vision of a seaside resort for the 21st century", with re-imagined lidos, gardens, performance spaces, "immersive experiences" and observatories.

It is estimated that Project North will attract around 760,000 visitors per year, but it will be designed to accommodate up to a million, with a daily capacity of 4,000 people.

The latest plan is for tickets to be issued for specific times to ensure a smooth flow of visitors through the project.

The reports also reveals plans for a 4,000-capacity outdoor arena designed for live music and entertainment.

According to the report, planners said that buildings will have a maximum height of 37.3 metres, no taller than the adjacent Grade II listed Midland Hotel.

The Eden Project North said it aims to respect the setting of the hotel and the nearby Grade II listed Winter Gardens, as well as enhancing Morecambe’s conservation area.

The report lays out Eden's commitment to making the Morecambe development carbon neutral, with a focus on encouraging visitors to use public transport and park-and-ride schemes.

Developers said their vision is for a "project free of fossil-fuelled vehicles" (with exceptions made for accessibility reasons) and a pedestrianised Morecambe Promenade.

Eden will carry out an extensive consultation with the public and stakeholders later this summer before it submits the Environmental Statement, along with the official planning application, in spring next year (2020).

The project is due to open in spring 2023, following a two-year construction period.

David Harland, Chief Executive of Eden Project International Ltd, said: "This is an important milestone for Eden Project North. Having a positive impact on the internationally significant environment of Morecambe Bay is fundamental to our vision for this project.

"This report is the next step towards making Eden Project North a reality.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support we have had from the local community and we look forward to working closely with everyone in the coming months and years as Eden Project North takes shape.”

EPIL is working with Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster University, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council to deliver Eden Project North.

Each of these has contributed £250,000 towards the cost of designing and planning, in addition to £100,000 pledged by the Government.

Eden in Cornwall has contributed more than £2 billion to the local economy and welcomed more than 21 million visitors since it fully opened in 2001.

EPIL is the global wing of the Eden Project, whose ambition is to create projects inspired by the original Cornish vision in every habitable continent on earth.

It is currently working on projects in China, Australia, Dubai, the USA and the UK.