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Education at the Core of Eden

Eden's unique approach to education inspired key funders and supporters to make possible the development of the £15 million new centre The Core.

The first important commitment was made by the Millennium Commission, with a contribution of £10.5 million. The commission has been a major supporter, having originally granted £43 million to build the Biomes and get the Eden Project off the ground.

The South West of England Regional Development Agency has invested £2.89 million towards the cost of The Core and The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly contributed £1.07 million.

Both organisations are strong supporters of Eden and as part of the current improvements in infrastructure and access have made a further joint investment of almost £20 million (made up of £12.9 million from Objective One and £6.78 from the South West RDA).

Substantial donations towards the costs of building The Core were also made by the Energy Saving Trust, EDF Energy, The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, Kellogs and the Ms Barrie Foundation.

In addition, the copper of the roof was supplied free of charge by Rio Tinto and the marmoleum floor covering for the education centre was donated by Forbo Flooring.

Eden was also fortunate to have the support and assistance before and during the build project of Restormel Borough Council, Cornwall County Council and the Government Office South West.

The extent of the backing for The Core reflects the wider support for Eden's work as well as a recognition of its positive impact on the economy in Cornwall and South West England – estimated at more than £500 million in the region over the last four years since Eden opened.

The most recent edition of The South West Economic Review - edited by Professor Peter Gripaios of the University of Plymouth Business School, and published by the South West Economy Centre – describes Eden as a 'beacon of hope' for the region.

Eden's Managing Director Gaynor Coley said: "Education has always been at the heart of Eden and we were overwhelmed with the demand for programmes in the early years. This building and the commitment from our funders and partners means we can at last house our team and the public in a space that will be the envy of education teams around the world."

Judith Donovan, Commissioner of the Millennium Commission said: "The Millennium Commission is proud to have supported the Eden Project with over £56 million of Lottery money, £10.5 million of which has enabled the creation of The Core.

"The Eden Project has rightly become world famous for its stunning structure and the wonder of its contents. It is a triumph of imagination and commitment to build a better future for us all. The addition of The Core will add an extra dimension to that reputation. Visitors will be inspired by the new building and it will provide an amazing space for people to learn about the vital issues concerning how we protect and work with the wealth of our natural environment.

"The Commission leaves the stage as the new millennium takes shape. Part of our legacy will be projects like Eden. You can be very proud of what has been achieved here in St Austell. I am sure you will all continue to take Eden to your hearts and build on its success for the future."

Stephen Bohane, head of operations for the South West RDA in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: "We've been working with the Eden Project since its inception to help maximise its benefit to the regional economy, and our investment in the new education centre is a further example of that. Not only is it another landmark building for South West England, but it will allow Eden to broaden its educational programme for the continued benefit of schools, colleges, visitors and the local community, and ensure that Eden remains one of the country's top attractions."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "The powerful image of Eden's Biomes has put Cornwall on the global map and resonates around the world. It has set the iconic image for Cornwall's increasingly optimistic and can-do culture.

"Eden as a destination has had an immediate impact on the Cornish economy of £150 million a year. Eden is also playing an important role in strengthening the local supply chain – both through sourcing goods locally and providing an international sales platform for those local goods."

David Weatherall, PV Programme Manager, Energy Saving Trust said: "Solar PV is a clean, green source of energy that is being supported by the Government through the Major PV Demonstration Programme. As managers of the programme we would like to encourage applications from other practical and exciting projects like the Eden Project in December's funding round."

Peter Thorn, EDF Energy Product Development Manager, said: "We are delighted to be supporting The Core. The communities in which we serve are extremely important to EDF Energy, and coupled with the opportunity to foster learning through the use of the centre, we feel that this is a fantastic cause. It has been partly supported through the EDF Energy Major Business and the EDF Energy Green Fund, which is used to invest in the installation of renewable generation for community based and educational projects, and is paid for through the Green Tariff, which pledges to match the electricity you use with the equivalent amount of electricity from renewable sources; wind, landfill gas and small scale hydro."

Leader of Cornwall County Council David Whalley said: "Eden is a well proven catalyst for regeneration, so this important addition to Eden's facilities is very exciting for Cornwall. With education as its prime purpose the new Core building will also fly the flag for Cornwall's knowledge-based economy aims, opening the eyes and minds of the thousands of young people who will use it every year."

Restormel Borough Council were again very supportive in the early stages of the projects inception and during the build programme, when their Building Control Department brought a positive and proactive approach in helping to deliver a sustainable building.

Cllr Joan Vincent, ex-leader of Restormel Borough Council said: "Restormel Borough Council were delighted to yet again be able to assist with new initiatives at the Eden Project, by contributing £40,000 in October 2002, towards the £1.5 million cost of the Eden Development Team who were responsible for first phase planning of the Core educational facility."


Editor's notes:

  The Core has taken two years to construct at a cost of £15 million. Major sponsors are the Millennium Commission (£10.5 million), South West Regional Development Agency (£2.9 million) and the European Regional Development Fund, via Objective One (£1 million). Other donations have come from The Energy Saving Trust, EDF Energy, The Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, Kellogs and Misses Barrie Charitable Trust.
  In addition to The Core, the £25m Phase 4 programme includes the following new/upgrade works to the existing facilities: Additional roads and car parks, waste recycling centre, staff facilities building, Biome link alterations, link canopy, visitor centre street works and staff facilities
  Eden Project Limited is owned by the Eden Trust, which is a fully registered UK Charity (No. 1093070)
  The Millennium Commission Lottery grant contributed £55.4 million to the £133.6 million cost of the Eden Project
  Big Build 2 is also supported by funding investments of £12.9 million from Europe, under the Objective One programme and £9.65 million from the South West Regional Development Agency
  Immediate information may be obtained from our website:

For further information, please contact:

David Rowe - Head of Press and Public Relations
Direct Line: 01726 811901

Bryher Scudamore – Director of Communications
Direct Line: 01726 811968

Laura Tregonning, Deborah Clark & Associates Ltd (PR on behalf of Eden)
01872 276 276



Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

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