Good trading year enables Eden to invest in projects and partnerships
The Eden Project’s annual accounts for 2014/15 show that it made a cash surplus from trading of more than £1.4 million in the last financial year.
Building on the success of the previous year, Eden also reports an increase in turnover for the financial year of more than half a million pounds and a five per cent increase in visitors.
A big reason for the visitor number increase was the success of the Dinosaurs Unleashed programme in 2014, Eden’s major summer event which encouraged new and returning visitors.
Eden Finance and Commercial Director David Harland said: “Our last financial year to March 2015 was one of steady development during which much has been achieved.
“We believe in profits for a purpose and our trading surplus will enable us to continue to invest in our education programmes and new partnerships, the visitor destination and our overseas activities.”
Highlights of the 2014/15 year included:
- The first ever Eden Mini Bond was issued with £1.5m raised in just over 19 hours to help Eden create a new learning village on the edge of its site.
- An accommodation partnership with the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) saw a 58-room hostel opened at Eden in October 2014.
- The Eden Project Learning partnership with Cornwall College for apprenticeships and degree programmes was successfully launched.
- Eden won the Best UK Leisure Attraction award at the British Travel Awards for a record-breaking fourth year running.
- More than 47,000 school children in organised groups visited the Eden site – an increase of 5,000 on the previous year.
- 4.8 million took part in the Big Lunch 2014, an Eden-led project, up from 3.7 million in the previous year. (In 2015 that figure leapt to 6.4 million taking part).
- A focus on the development of international projects with new ventures and consultancy opportunities identified in China, Canada and New Zealand.(An agreement to build a £100 million China Eden project was signed in September 2015).
David Harland added: “Following last year’s successes, the signs are already very good for the current financial year at Eden. The return of the summer programme, this time as Dinosaur Uproar, meant that visitor numbers for the main six weeks of the summer holidays were the highest since 2007. Alongside this, Eden welcomed its first cohort of university students and has seen continued investment into further educational provision and its international ventures – investments which will bear fruit in years to come.”
Last week was a successful one for the Eden Project. It was named best UK Leisure Attraction at the British Travel Awards for record-breaking fifth year running and also won the Green category at the inaugural National Geographic Traveller Awards, seeing off competition from other projects from across the globe.
This week, Eden announced its first Eden Sessions date for summer 2016, with global megastar Lionel Richie set to play at the project on June 14.