This is yet another momentous day for the people of Morecambe in our quest to get the Eden Project to our shores. This debate follows our last successful Adjournment debate on
The Eden Project is now at a critical stage. With this internationally significant project for Morecambe and the north-west region, the site is an area of international environmental importance. Morecambe bay is a designated Ramsar site, as it is the largest continuous intertidal area in Britain; it is also a special area of conservation and within a special protection area. It is key to environmental studies in Britain.
Local funding partners, the county council, Lancashire local enterprise partnership, the city council and Lancaster University are leading investment, with the involvement of Lancaster and Morecambe College to train a future workforce for the future in green initiatives in the Morecambe and Lancaster area. Stakeholder progress is well under way: I can exclusively confirm that the city council and all the other stakeholders that I mentioned are now in agreement and that the process for releasing the land required for building, along with further millions in funding to Eden, will begin when the proposal to the Treasury is taken forward. On that condition, part-funding will come forward from Eden and from central Government, and the land can then be released. The land allocation is welcomed by Eden, in line with what has been reflected in public consultations with it. Indeed, responses to my own survey are still arriving in my office, reinforcing the fact that thousands of people locally and throughout our Lancaster and Morecambe area would like to see the Eden Project become a reality.
The imminent Budget provides the opportunity for a signal that further demonstrates, on top of the £100,000 in the last Budget, the Government’s commitment to this game-changing project. I have had repeated meetings with the CEO of Eden, David Harland, and with the Chancellor; further meetings with the Treasury are ongoing. Lancashire and Eden will collectively lead, but the Government’s commitment is now vital to create a genuinely transformational project for my area.