Friday, November 19, 2010 - 11:32

Staff at Eden are continuing their huge recovery effort to ensure the project can be up and running again as early as possible next week. The plan is that it will re-open on Wednesday (November 24).

Eden has been closed since Wednesday (Nov 17) when it was hit by the severe flooding which caused such devastation to communities in the surrounding area of mid Cornwall.

Parts of the project, including the ice rink under the stage area and the main eating areas between the Biomes, have been particularly badly hit.

However, with teams of staff working virtually around the clock, Eden announced today that it expects to re-open next Wednesday.

Managing Director Gaynor Coley said today: “We feel it is vitally important for the community in which we live, our visitors, the people who work here, and our suppliers and supporters that we get up and running as soon as we can and provide as great an experience as we can muster.

“We have been humbled by the offers of help we have received from the wider Cornish community and beyond and bowled over by the Herculean efforts of the team.

“Most of our staff live in the immediate locality and some were flooded out on Wednesday morning.

“Despite this, they have still found the strength and will to come in and help us with what is a massive clean up.”

She said that everyone at the project was doing their utmost to make sure that the site was open as soon as possible.

“A little like a decade ago when people came to watch our Big Build, our visitors will be able to see behind the scenes as we repair the site.

“So we will be open to general visitors next week when they will be able to enjoy all the other attractions of Eden, including our crown jewels, the Rainforest, Mediterranean and outdoor Biomes. Thankfully our plant collections, both indoor and out, largely escaped damage in what was the worst flood we have suffered since opening nearly ten years ago.

"Sadly the damage to the ice rink is more severe than we first thought so at this moment we can’t say how soon skating will return to Eden. We are sorry for the disappointment this causes. We are doing everything we can to bring the skating back as soon as possible."

Alongside the ice rink, the main eating areas between the Biomes were the most badly affected by the flood. Restaurants there were under two to three feet of water early on Wednesday and the full assessment of the damage is now underway.

Gaynor Coley added: “Visitors will be able buy food and drink in our other cafes. We are currently looking at reducing our standard entry prices to reflect the fact that not all our facilities are open and that the clean-up and repair work is likely to continue for weeks.”

The two other main buildings affected by the flood, the Visitor Centre and the Core education centre, have been thoroughly cleaned by Eden teams and are now almost ready to open.

Eden has also been looking at ways in which it can continue to help the local community recover from the severe flood damage.

Later today (Friday) Gaynor Coley and Eden's chief executive Tim Smit are due to meet Prince Charles Duke of Cornwall and council and business leaders to discuss a community flood recovery plan. The Prince is on a visit to people and communities hit by the flood.

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