News of government support totaling £50 million has boosted plans for the Morecambe Eden Project.
One of more than 100 projects across the UK that will share in £2.1 billion from the government’s Levelling Up fund is the proposed Lancashire eco-tourism attraction.
It will revamp Morecambe’s seafront and serve as a satellite location for the original Eden Project in Cornwall, close to St Austell.
David Morris, a Tory lawmaker from Morecambe and Lunesdale, called the news “mind-blowing.”
The money will pay for half of the £100 million required to erect the eagerly anticipated coastal-themed attraction, which was formerly known as Eden Project North.
The Eden Project Morecambe will have three sizable pavilions with views of Morecambe Bay when it opens in 2024.
Rob Chatwin, the chief executive, called it a “historic moment” for the community and its surroundings.
To make this vision a reality, “we will now work hard with our partners,” he declared.
The funding choice, according to Mr. Morris, “quite literally changed Morecambe forever.”
After lobbying four prime ministers and six chancellors and participating in more meetings and debates in Parliament than he can recall, he declared that five years of work had finally paid off.
What was once just a dream has now materialized, ensuring Morecambe’s prosperity for future generations.
Caroline Jackson, the president of the Lancaster City Council, called it “fantastic news.”
It “presented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reinvent and rejuvenate Morecambe into a 21st Century seaside resort,” the Green Party politician said.
“This exciting, transformational project will bring a huge boost to Morecambe and its economy,” county council leader Phillippa Williamson added.
The Eden Project announced that the foundation work would now begin.
A so-called “multiversity,” a campus for education in the middle of Blackpool, has also received £40 million.
Blackpool and The Fylde College will be able to replace what the Department for Levelling Up described as “aging and unsuitable out-of-town center facilities with world-class, state-of-the-art ones in the heart of the town center,” according to the government.
According to a spokesman, it will instruct students in cutting-edge skills, such as artificial intelligence, to help them land “jobs of the future.”
Other grants include £20 million for the town center of Accrington, where renovations will be made to the Grade II-listed market hall, and £20 million to upgrade the parks in Preston.
Additionally, £20 million has been given to Haigh Hall in Wigan, Greater Manchester, and more than £15 million has been given to Halewood, Merseyside, to upgrade its transportation, sporting, and leisure facilities.
While Blackburn with Darwen Council will receive £20 million to upgrade Junction 5 of the M65, Lancashire County Council will receive £50 million to upgrade public transportation, cycling, and walking routes in the county’s eastern region.
For Labour, Lisa Nandy, the shadow minister for levelling up, stated: “It takes an extraordinary arrogance to expect us to be grateful for a partial refund on the money they have stolen out of our communities, which has decimated vital local services like childcare, buses, and social care.
It’s time to put an end to this Hunger Games-style competition in which Whitehall ministers decide who wins and loses between competing communities.