Morecambe finally lands £50m Eden North funding

How Eden North in Morecambe will look

Morecambe has secured the full £50m of levelling up funding it sought for Eden Project Morecambe, a planned eco-tourism project development. 

The bid submitted in August has been 10 years in the making and marks the most significant investment into the Lancashire seaside resort in decades.

The Government contribution of £50m forms half of the projected £100m cost of building Eden Project Morecambe, with the remainder of the funds coming from private and philanthropic sources.

All local stakeholders and regional politicians backed the bid and Lancaster City Council agreed planning permission in early 2022 to clear the promenade site for the development. 

The directors of the Cornwall-based Eden Project submitted a business case to the Government in September 2020 setting out the economic, environmental, social, educational and cultural benefits.

They claim around 300 high-quality green jobs will be directly created by the renamed Eden Project Morecambe, plus more than 1,000 additional new jobs supported in the region.

Annual visitor numbers are projected to be 740,000 and additional revenue brought into local businesses is set to exceed the £50m Government investment within months of the project opening.

Eden Project Morecambe will be situated on the central promenade of Morecambe, on the former site of the Bubbles leisure complex with the Grade II* listed Winter Gardens and Midland Hotel its near neighbours. The project has been designed in a way which is sensitive and complementary to these important buildings and sightlines across the Bay.

Morecambe’s Conservative MP David Morris, who has doggedly campaigned for Eden, said: “After five Prime Ministers and seven Chancellors and four Parliaments since first raising this in 2012, the hard work and constant banging the drum of this fantastic project has finally paid off.

“This will be a game changer for Morecambe and today’s announcement has literally changed Morecambe forever. The link road was the catalyst, I knew that prosperity would come with access from the M6 and now Eden is the attraction that will be the destination at the end of that link road. Eden will bring economic benefits for not just for Morecambe, but for the whole north west region.”

Other regional projects backed include a £40m Artificial Intelligence campus in Blackpool’s new Multiversity, a carbon-neutral, education campus in the town’s Talbot Gateway Central Business District. The funding allows the college to replace their ageing out-of-town centre facilities.

Accrington is to get £20 million to regenerate the town centre, including the renovation of the Grade II listed Accrington Market Hall into a food hall and trading space and the refurbish of the vacant and dilapidated Burtons Chambers and Market Chambers into brand-new office spaces.

There is £20 million to restore the Grade II listed Haigh Hall in Wigan, which will rejuvenate the area and make the site a popular destination for culture, community, events and hospitality.

Partington Sports Village will be redeveloped with £18 million funding to provide state-of-the-art facilities for the local community.

Almost £10 million will drive improvements along Workington’s highways and cycle routes to  better connect the town to the port, improving access for local workers.

£20 million invested in Blackburn’s infrastructure to tackle congestion and give local people more, better options to walk and cycle around the borough, with a similar award in Ellesmere Port.

Earlstown in St Helens, Oldham, Heywood and Preston have also been successful in bids to the Levelling Up Fund.

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