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21.01.03      
Plans for Eden's next stage move to design phase

The Eden Project's next stage – including the creation of its third biome – has come a step closer with the start of detailed design work.

The award winning Millennium Commission funded project unveiled its ideas for further development in October. Now Eden has announced details of the team that will work on turning those initial plans into detailed proposals – ready to be submitted for planning approval in the spring.

Managing Director Gaynor Coley said: "This is an exciting moment in the development of Eden. The 'Eden Effect' has already contributed over £155 million to the local economy over the last year and our challenge is to capture and repeat that.

"We have a vision of how Eden can evolve and over the next few months the development team will be working on practical, viable plans for how we can turn that vision into reality and match – or, better still, exceed – the quality of what has already been created here.

"Visitor comfort and sustainability will be at the heart of the next phase. However, Eden is about more than just a philosophy, it is about real commitment to principles and we are passionate about this being reflected in how we build and expand the project."

The next stage of Eden's capital development is expected to cost £75 million. Included in those plans are a new Dry Tropics biome, the 'Learning Lift' Education For All building, covered walkways, a Field Centre, additional accommodation for horticultural staff, student training facilities and further dramatic exhibition areas.

Producing the feasibility study together with detailed design and planning proposals to decide whether such an ambitious expansion is possible will itself cost around £2.85 million. Up to £1.425 million towards the cost of developing the proposals will be funded by the South West Regional Development Agency.

The South West RDA's Head of Operations for Cornwall, Stephen Bohane, said: "The Eden Project has already exceeded all expectations in its first phase. It has become not just a landmark within Cornwall but for the whole of the UK in terms of quality and inspiration.

"It has also, of course, become very significant in helping to drive Cornwall's economic renaissance and it is important that the South West's RDA helps Eden to continue that role and move it even further forward."

Further funding is being provided through Objective One, with a £1,006,892 grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and a further £53,337 through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Commenting on the grant, Objective One Programme Director Carleen Kelemen said: "The future plans for the Eden Project are really exciting. This funding is to ensure that studies and reports are generated so that any future investment in this amazing project will continue to have economic and environmental benefits for the whole of Cornwall."

The work of the Development Team that doesn't qualify for grant aid is being funded direct by the Eden Project, as part of the collaboration with its funders.

Leading the Eden Development Team will be Tim Carter from Davis, Langdon & Everest. He explained that the team face a tight timescale.

"The money from one of our potential principal funders needs to be spent by the end of 2004. In order to achieve that, we need to apply for planning permission by March in order to make a start on site by July.

"A substantial part of the next stage of development will then be finished in time to meet the funding deadline, with the entire scheme being completed by late 2005 or early 2006."

Tim added: "Phase one is going to be a tough act to follow. This is going to be very much more difficult because this time we'll have a pit that's got two million visitors going through it each year. The logistical problems for this stage will be on a completely different level."

Other members of the team that will be taking Eden forward include Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners – architects for the now-famous original biomes – structural engineers Anthony Hunt Associates Ltd, landscape architects Land Use Consultants, services engineers Buro-Happold, traffic consultants Colin Buchanan & Partners and designers Haskoll. The contractors for the work will be MacAlpine Joint Venture.

Eden's work on its next stage has already involved exploring alternative modes of access and transport, in close collaboration with the local community, the railway services, coach operators and SUSTRANS.

Tim Carter added: "We will, if anything, be increasing the emphasis on sustainability. That and waste management – making Eden waste neutral in terms of what comes in and out of the site – will continue to be major drivers in everything we do."

Gaynor Coley added that the aim of the next stage is to maintain, not increase, Eden's current level of two million visitors per year – which has already made it Britain's third most visited paid for tourist attraction. Projections show that the Eden Project, in the next 10 years, could contribute up to £2 billion in additional revenue for Cornwall.

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Editor's notes:

The Millennium Commission grant contributed £43 million to the £86 million cost of the Eden Project.

Project summary:

1. The Eden Development Team aim to capitalise on the initial success of the Eden Project, including the early work of the Eden Foundation, by identifying and assessing the feasibility of further capital investment,
2. These investments are intended to expand the project to accommodate the 1.25million extra visitors a year being generated to the site, initially built to accommodate approximately 0.75million.
3. Maintaining and consolidating visitor numbers at 2 million will continue to guarantee benefits to the Cornish economy.
4. Projects being assessed for viability include:
    The Learning Lift
    Dry Tropics Biome
    On site visitor movement
    Engine Room and Visitor Gateway
    The Fertile Crescent to include the Field Centre
    Traffic Impact Assessment
    Environmental Assessment
    Waste and re-cycling study
    An enhanced plant nursery
    Energy study
5. In its first year of opening the Eden Project generated £155 million new money into the Cornish economy.
6. In its second year of operation, with figures marginally ahead of the preceeding year, those figures are predicted to rise to £160 million additional revenue on visitor numbers of 2 million.
7. In the next 10 years, the Eden Project has the potential to generate £2 billion additional revenue into the Cornish economy.
8.

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
ERDF is one of our four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million of grant funding available for developing the local economy between 2000 and 2006. ERDF exists to:

Help reduce the gap between development levels and living standards among the regions and the extent to which least-favoured regions are lagging behind.

Help redress the main regional imbalances in the European Community by participating in the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind, and the social conversion of regions.

 

9.

European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
EAGGF is one of the four funds that make up the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, which is making £314 million available to support the local economy between 2000 and 2006. EAGGF aims to:

Help preserve the link between diversified farming and the land.

Improve and support the competitiveness of agriculture as a key activity in rural areas.

Ensure the diversification of the economy in rural areas.

Help to keep thriving communities in rural areas.

Preserve and improve the environment, the landscape and the rural heritage.

This release is available via email: henrietta@dclark.co.uk.

Immediate information may be obtained from our website: www.edenproject.com

For further information please contact:
Henrietta Lilley, Deborah Clark & Associates Ltd
Tel: 01872 276276
Fax: 01872 274999
e-mail: henrietta@dclark.co.uk

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388

jason@dclark.co.uk

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