Monday, June 16, 2014 - 09:56

The Eden Project’s annual accounts for 2013/14 show that it made a cash surplus from trading of more than £2m in the last financial year.

Following a loss of £1.3m in the previous year, Eden’s directors were determined to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project through cost savings and financial restructuring at the beginning of the last financial year.

The strategic report which accompanies the accounts states that there were 68 staff redundancies during the year 2013/14 and nearly 50 further roles were not replaced when people left the business through resignation.

The results of this restructuring were reflected the annual savings of more than £4million. Turnover for the period amounted to £17,504,928, a drop of £1,622,996 on the previous year.

Despite all the upheaval during the year, Eden’s achievements were numerous.  Highlights included:

  • The award of Best UK Leisure Attraction at the British Travel Awards for the third year running.
  • Increased spending in catering, retail and admission.
  • More than 42,000 school children visiting in organised groups.
  • The Big Lunch, an Eden-led project, attended by 3.7 million people.
  • Big Lunch Extras programme is now in full swing.

Following the turnaround of 2013/14, Eden will now continue its progress towards long-term financial stability.  The board’s priorities for the coming year are:

  • The continued success of both the visitor destination at Bodelva and existing projects such as Big Lunch and  Big Lunch Extras.
  • The development of a range of accommodation on site at Eden (subject to planning consents).
  • The development of new educational partnerships for the delivery of formal education provision at the Eden site and possibly beyond.
  • The further extension of the Eden brand into targeted, commercial areas with a view to extending the reach of the charitable mission.

The Board believes that Eden’s long-term ambitions will be best served by ensuring that the organisation is substantially debt-free within five years and repayments will continue to be made during 2014/15, in order that this can become a reality.

David Harland, Eden Project Finance Director, said: “These results show that Eden has turned the corner after a difficult year in which we had to make some very hard decisions.  We have lost valuable staff in a painful restructure process but by cutting costs across the board we have ensured that the project is now on a very sound footing.

“The year ahead is an exciting one.  We are recruiting again and have recently announced a partnership which will see us employ 20-25 apprentices this year. We are working with the YHA to establish a hostel on the Eden site and are looking forward to our biggest-ever summer programme, Dinosaurs Unleashed.”