The teams at Eden report to the Board, who report to the Trustees, who ensure we meet our charitable aims. The Eden Project is wholly owned by the Eden Trust.
Eden is operated on behalf of the Trust by Eden Project Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Eden Trust. Any profit generated is reinvested back into the Trust. Eden Project Limited is managed by a Board of Executive and Non-Executive Directors who remain ultimately responsible to the Eden Trust, a UK Registered Charity (number 1093070).
Eden Project Limited is managed by a Board of Executive and Non-Executive Directors who remain ultimately responsible to registered charity the Eden Trust.
Non Executive Chairman
Judith Donovan CBE was one of the first female entrepreneurs in Yorkshire, founding her own marketing agency in 1982, which she grew to over 50 staff, with a turnover of £12.5 million, before selling to her managers in 2000.
Since then she has pursued a non exec career, mainly in the public sector, and currently is: Chair of Royal Mail’s Strategic Mailing Partnership; a Director of the British Wool Marketing Board and the Legacy Trust UK; a Trustee of the Hull University Union; a Member of Hull University Alumni Advisory Board and the Yorkshire Dales National Park, a Public Member of Network Rail; and an Authority Member of the Ripon Cathedral Finance Board.
Previously she has been Chair of the Yorkshire Tourist Board, Chair of Bradford TEC, President of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair of Postwatch, a Millennium Commissioner, a Director of HSE and BIG Lottery Fund and also a Trustee of Northern Ballet and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.
Tim Smit, Chief Executive, Development (and co-founder) of the Eden Project
Sir Tim Smit KBE was born in Holland on 25 September 1954. He read Archaeology and Anthropology at Durham University. Tim worked for ten years in the music industry as composer/producer in both rock music and opera. In 1987 Tim moved to Cornwall he and John Nelson together ‘discovered’ and then restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Tim remains a Director of the gardens to the present day.
Tim is Chief Executive, Development and co-founder of the Award winning Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. Eden began as a dream in 1995 and opened its doors to the public in 2000, since when over 13 million people have come to see what was once a sterile pit turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour. Eden has contributed over £1 billion into the Cornish economy. Eden is proud of its success in changing people’s perception of the potential for and the application of science, by communicating and interpreting scientific concepts through the use of art, drama and storytelling as well as living up to its mission to take a pivotal role in local regeneration. It demonstrates once and for all that sustainability is not about sandals and nut cutlets, it is about good business practice and the citizenship values of the future.
Tim is a Trustee, Patron and Board Member of a number of statutory and voluntary bodies both locally and nationally. He has received a variety of national awards including The Royal Society of Arts Albert Medal. In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary CBE in the New Years Honours List and In January 2011 he was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. This appointment was made substantive in June 2012 as he has become a British Citizen. He has received Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships from a number of Universities. Tim was voted ‘Great Briton of 2007’ in the Environment category of the Morgan Stanley Great Britons Awards.
In 2011 Tim was given a special award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. Tim has taken part in a quantity of television and radio programmes and has been the subject of ‘This is Your Life’ and a guest on ‘Desert Island Discs’. He is a regular speaker at conferences, dinners, Awards Ceremonies and other events. Tim is the author of books about both Heligan and Eden and he has contributed to publications on a wide variety of subjects. He lives in Lostwithiel, Cornwall and in his free time he enjoys reading, film, music and art.
Gaynor Coley, Chief Executive, Enterprise
When Gay Coley joined Eden in 1997 the Project was little more than a garden shed in a sprawling nursery shared by 15 passionate dreamers. Arriving here was, she says, a daunting experience, “like stepping from an oil tanker onto a small speedboat with little petrol.” In the years since, with Gay’s hand firmly at the tiller, Eden has attracted nearly 13 million visitors, generated more than £1 billion for the regional economy and sustained 500 jobs at the former clay quarry near St Austell, and thousands more beyond.
Starting out as Finance Director, then becoming Managing Director and Deputy Chief Executive, Gay is a relentless advocate of daring to dream and organising to deliver. She says: “Eden is the perfect example of this. It began as an ambitious vision and through the incredible commitment and teamwork of the crew has been transformative in so many ways.
“I’m a huge believer that audacious dreams backed by practical skills can make change happen. If there is one thing that Eden has proved it is that ordinary people working together can build a better future for us all.”
Gay has a passion for education as a tool of transformation and after growing up in South Wales she studied Economics at University College London and went on to qualify as a teacher at the Institute of Education.
She went into the City to understand how to unlock resources and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross. After five years of SMEs to PLCs and Big Bang in banking she decided she was well armed and moved to the West Country in 1987. She was Director of Corporate Finance at the University of Plymouth from 1993 helping it transform from a Polytechnic to one of the most successful new Universities in the UK before joining Eden. Her first job at the Project was to make it financially and commercially secure and she led the development and delivery of the £86 million public and private sector funding package that allowed the Project to be delivered on time and on budget when it fully opened in March 2001. This provided a template that has been used by many other projects throughout the UK. Her Finance Team was recognised as the Accountancy Age team of the year in 2001.
She championed the governance structure that has enabled Eden to become a model social enterprise. Eden aimed to combine the commercial rigour of the private sector with a framework that keeps the social purpose firmly at the top of decision making and does this with a limited company wholly owned by a charitable trust that provides the legal protection of the mission.
In May 2001 she became Managing Director and steered the team through the first full season and a record-breaking 1.8 million visitors. This demand meant a second phase of capital development and the project team have raised over £50m for this investment since opening. Gay directs all the financial, operational and commercial aspects of the Project, which has won numerous awards over the years, many for exceptional customer service.
In 2005 the ICAEW (South West) awarded Gay the Best All Rounder Trophy and in 2009 she received the CBI Real Business First Women Award in Tourism and Leisure.
She is currently leading the strategy to extend Eden’s influential environmental brand and programmes across the world. “Finding a better balance with nature is a big issue and it is urgent. Eden wants to be part of the solution, not just for the UK but across the globe,” she says.
She loves watching films and her recommendation for a sound recipe for life is the Wizard of Oz: “Dorothy discovered that there is no Wizard, realised that there is no place like home and that we can change our destiny by recognising and working with the talents of the people who are around us every day”
She lives in Wadebridge on the North Cornwall Coast and away from work she likes gardening, interior design, reading and cycling.
Tony Kendle, Foundation Director
Tony was part of the Development Team from 1996 but joined Eden full time in September 2000 and was appointed Foundation Director in October 2001.
As Foundation Director his responsibilities include strategic development of the meaning of the project, overseeing the education programme (schools and public), science outreach and horticulture. Prior to joining Eden he was a staff member at the University of Reading School of Plant Sciences.
He has worked as a researcher and consultant, both in the UK and overseas, specialising in nature conservation, horticulture and the restoration of degraded lands.
Peter Stewart, Eden Project Campaigns and Communications Director
Peter Stewart joined Eden in 2003 supporting local businesses to get involved with the Project and went on to become Campaigns and Communications Director in 2008. This role includes responsibility for Eden’s biggest educational outreach campaign, The Big Lunch.
As well as running small businesses Peter previously spent over 10 years in the advertising industry working for British Leyland, J. Walter Thompson and BMP DDB, working with a variety of businesses from The Guardian, Knorr, National Dairy Council (milk), Courage (Fosters, Courage Best and John Smiths). In between JWT and BMP, Peter was also Account Director at Leo Burnett working on Proctor & Gamble, Philip Morris, Sanyo and Nestle (Crosse & Blackwell).
Peter was appointed to the main Eden Board in March 2012. In the same year he was also awarded an MVO by HM The Queen for his work on the Diamond Jubilee, as The Big Lunch played a major part in the celebrations.
Rosie is a writer and broadcaster whose career has spanned the national media. She has been Editor of Esquire, The Independent on Sunday, The Independent, and The Express. She co-founded the feminist magazine Spare Rib in 1971. She has also appeared regularly on The Late Review (BBC2) and The Moral Maze (BBC Radio 4), and written several books, including Our Farm: A Year in the Life of a Smallholding. She is a Trustee of the Hay Festival and of Warchild, the charity for children affected by war.
Andrew co-founded i-level, the digital media agency that revolutionised the UK’s internet advertising market. Starting the business in 1999, he built it to over £100 million turnover, winning over 50 awards including agency of the year eight times and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. He was named London Media Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young in 2006, and given the Chairman’s award by the Association of Online Publishers for outstanding contribution to the industry in 2007, selling the business to private equity in 2008 before moving on to develop interests in other ventures. For five years until 2011, he wrote a popular weekly column in Marketing magazine. He is now an active investor in early stage internet ventures, sitting on the board of several companies, including the Eden Project and the Advertising Association’s Credos board.
Geoffrey Wilkinson was chief executive of the South West Regional Development Agency for five years until he retired in April 2006. Before this he was managing director of the Laird Group plc, a UK based international manufacturing company. He served in this role from 1994 to 2001. Geoffrey previously worked for a number of organisations including the British Steel Corporation and Dillon Read Ltd. He was a non-executive director on the Court of the Bank of England between 2005 and 2009, and has been a non-executive director of the South West Strategic Health Authority since September 2006. He is also a member of the England Committee of the Big Lottery Fund.
The Eden Trustees
The Eden Trust is dedicated to breaking down the barriers to communication, encouraging the sharing of information and ideas with the widest possible audience. It catalyses collaboration in science, arts, technology and commerce, creating a constituency for change and then putting it into action.
Chairman of the Trustees Anthony Salz (Chairman)
Anthony was appointed a Trustee in December 2000. Until December 2005 he was Co-Senior Partner of the international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Since 2006 he has been an Executive Vice Chairman at Rothschild, the international investment bank. Anthony was Vice Chairman of the BBC between 2004 and 2006. He is a member of the Tate Gallery’s Corporate Advisory Group (Chairman from 1997 to 2002) and is a Trustee of the Tate Foundation. He is also a Trustee of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, the Scott Trust, the Royal Opera House, the Conran Foundation and the Media Standards Trust. He is a member of the Advisory Panel to The Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue and of the Advisory Board of Exeter University Business School. He co-chairs the Education and Employers Taskforce, an independent charity which promotes partnerships between schools and employers.
Emma Harrison is an acclaimed entrepreneur and founder of A4e, the global leader in welfare reform, which she founded in 1991. A4e is renowned for developing and delivering social change on behalf of governments. Its stated mission - and Emma's driving passion - is 'improving people's lives', proving that successful companies can be built around her principle of 'doing well by doing good'. Emma is an engineering graduate with three Honorary Doctorates. She is a non-executive Director of the IOD, on the Fellowship Council of the RSA, a Freeman of the Cutlers Company and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute. She led the NSPCC Full Stop Campaign for the UK regions, raising £57 million. Her foundation, The Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI), supports over 1000 small charities with free training and advice.
Lady Mary Holborow
Lady Mary Holborow was educated at Tudor Hall School, then in Paris. She worked in the Houses of Parliament until she moved to Cornwall in 1959. It was here that she became a JP, working actively as a magistrate until she took up the post of Lord-Lieutenant of the county (1994-2011).
Since retiring as Lord-Lieutenant she has become Chairman of the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, Chairman of Clean Cornwall, and a member of the Water Futures Panel of South West Water. She is also a Non-Executive Consultant to her daughter’s PR business, Wild Card. Lady Mary is currently Patron or President of numerous charities, and a trustee of the Cornwall Community Foundation and the South West Lakes Trust.
In the past she has been Vice-Chairman of the Cornwall Isles of Scilly Health Authority, on the Board of South West Water plc, and Chairman of the Rural Development Commission Cornwall Committee. She was also a Board member of Devon and Cornwall Training & Enterprise Council, and Chairman of the Further Education Funding Council Regional Committee. She was a founder Trustee of the national Maritime Museum in Falmouth and a Board member of University College Falmouth for eight years. Additionally, she has been a member of the Regional Board of TSB, Director of TSW Broadcasting, and a Governor of Truro School and Cornwall College.
Lady Mary has received several honorary degrees, including an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Exeter University (1997), an Honorary Doctorate of Business from Plymouth University (2010) and a Fellowship from University College Falmouth (2011).
In her spare time she enjoys being with her family and playing bridge and tennis.
Lucy Parker was appointed a Trustee in August 2007. She is Chair of the Talent and Enterprise Taskforce, set up by the Prime Minister in the autumn of 2007 to encourage and develop the many forms of talent and creativity needed for the future prosperity of Britain. Previously, Lucy was Chief Executive of Cantos Communications, a pioneer in online video communications for major corporates, with over a third of the FTSE100 amongst its clients and an established audience in financial institutions worldwide. In the early 1990s she founded Trinity Management Communications, specialising in executive coaching and leadership communications for business. She was a General Trainee with the BBC and spent fifteen years as a documentary producer and director, including with the Community Programme Unit.
Lucy began her career as a teacher and performer in theatre-in-education. She founded Shiftwork, a documentary-theatre company which devised shows with young people telling their own story on stage at the Old Vic and the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. Lucy is a graduate of Cambridge University and did a Masters degree at New York University in educational theatre and broadcasting on an ITT Scholarship. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study innovative theatre in Japan.
Sir Ghillean Prance
Sir Ghillean Prance FRS VMH is Eden's Scientific Director and a major contributor to the development of the project. He is a former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and a world authority on the flora and fauna of the rainforests.
Sir Simon Robertson
Simon was appointed a Trustee in December 2000. He is Chairman of Rolls Royce plc and a Director of Berry Brothers & Rudd Ltd and the Economist Newspaper Ltd. He is also a Director of the Royal Opera House, a Trustee of the Royal Opera House Endowment and Chairman of Trustees of the Royal Academy of Arts Trust.
Sir John Rose
Sir John Rose is Deputy Chairman of Rothschild Continuation Holdings and a Senior Adviser to N M Rothschild & Sons Limited.
He joined Rolls-Royce plc in 1984, was appointed to its Board of Directors in January 1992, and became Chief Executive on 1 May 1996. He retired at the end of March 2011.
Sir John sits on the boards of Hakluyt & Co., and BW Group and is an advisor to Greenbriar Equity Group LLC. Amongst his charitable involvements he acts as Trustee to the Eden Project, the Baker Dearing Trust and is a Patron of Row2Recovery. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Sir John was knighted in 2003, became a Commandeur de la Legion d’Honneur in 2008 and was awarded the Singapore Public Service Star in the same year.
Born in Blantyre, Malawi, Sir John earned his MA degree in Psychology from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
He is married with three children.
Professor Sir Steve Smith
Professor Sir Steve Smith has been Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter since 2002. Sir Steve is a graduate of the University of Southampton and holds a BSc in Politics and International Studies, an MSc in International Studies and a PhD in International Relations, and has since received honorary awards from several UK universities.
He has made his mark in the world of higher education policy, through his roles in a raft of organisations such as the UCAS Board, the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Times Higher Education Editorial Board. From June 2007 until May 2010, he led for higher education on the Prime Minister’s National Council of Excellence in Education, which provided advice to government about strategy and measures to achieve world-class education performance for all children and young people.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, he has written or edited 15 books, over 100 academic papers and has given over 170 academic presentations across the globe.