Eden gets the go-ahead for 115-bed hotel
The Eden Project has been granted planning permission for a £6 million, 115-bedroom hotel on its site at Bodelva near St Austell in Cornwall.
Plans have been approved by Cornwall Council for the new building, which has been designed to blend into the countryside and have high standards of accessibility, energy-efficiency and sustainability.
The new mid-range hotel is expected to be completed in mid-2016. Eden is currently in discussion with a number of potential partners regarding the management of the hotel. The development will create around 25 new jobs.
Eden Executive Director David Harland said today: "Having permission for a hotel on our site is a big moment for Eden and for the wider economy. We are very grateful for the support the proposal has been given by the council planners and by the community. Now it is full steam ahead."
The hotel will support Eden's activities, its educational aspirations, its existing and future conference events, weddings, and the annual Eden Sessions series of concerts.
David Harland added: "Many of these events require visitors to arrive the previous evening and then remain on site until the next day or day after. The hotel will enable us to meet their expectations and secure Eden's identity as a conferencing and events venue."
Eden has monitored its direct economic impact on the region from its beginnings. Research shows that the 17 million people who have visited since it opened in 2001 have spent at least £1.6 billion within Cornwall, contributing greatly to the wider economy.
The hotel, Eden says, will be a great asset in sustaining business all year round and unlocking the potential of the wider estate beyond the world-famous Biomes.
The position of the hotel has been chosen to be both accessible to the main Eden site and close to the perimeter of Eden's outer estate.
There will be no provision for any catering in the building. This is deliberate as the plan is for sleep accommodation only, allowing the guests to access facilities on the main Eden site.
The hotel is designed on simple lines. The timber-clad structure is to be similar in style to Eden's Foundation Building which sits outside of the main visitor area.
The hotel is designed to support existing projects and partners and also future developments on site, not just for the Eden.
These include the Building Research Establishment's National Solar Centre and Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust's Green Build Hub. The hotel will enable them to offer residential courses to support their own training ambitions.
David Harland said: "Projects such as the Green Build Hub and The BRE National Solar Centre are an additional dimension to Eden's sustainability offering and demonstrate that Eden is becoming a true centre of expertise that more people will want to come and explore.
"Having this cluster of projects and joined-up approach allows visitors from all over the world to come to one area, reducing travel to separate locations.
"Both the Green Build Hub and National Solar Centre will be bringing sustainable building technologies and solar energy to the forefront of the visitor experience and a sustainable hotel that supports the philosophy of all parties is an obvious opportunity to support these aspirations."
Eden recently opened its doors to the new YHA hostel after the closure of the YHA hostel at nearby Golant. The new hostel is primarily aimed at the many school groups who visit the site.
Last November Eden was acclaimed as Best UK Leisure Attraction for a record-breaking fourth year running at the travel industry 'Oscars.'
The prestigious British Travel Awards are the biggest of their kind in the industry. Winners are shortlisted by a panel of professionals and chosen by public vote.