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Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 09:00

The Eden Project and Lancaster University have committed to strengthening their existing partnership by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding.

Eden has been working with the university, alongside other local partners, on the Eden Project North development in Morecambe since 2015. This agreement signals a closer partnership between the two organisations. Last month, Eden and Lancaster University announced the first joint appointment of Robert Barratt to the Eden Project North Chair of Education and Engagement.

The two partners will explore special projects, including health and wellbeing, sustainability, environment and green energy, to enhance the opportunities provided by Eden Project North. The University’s physical presence on the site in Morecambe is also being developed.

Work on Eden Project North continued during lockdown, with the project team optimistic that it can still open in 2023, as originally planned. The Eden Project in Cornwall has recently reopened following a 75-day closure for the pandemic.

Professor Dame Sue Black, Lancaster University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Engagement, said: “The opportunity to work closely with Eden Project North is incredibly exciting and mutually beneficial. Universities have a civic responsibility to support the places where they are based and to help to find ways to address some of the most pressing problems.

“These issues range from helping local businesses to grow, to boosting the health of local people, and improving education for school pupils and lifelong learners alike.

“Our partnership with Eden strengthens our position to tackle these issues.”

David Harland, the Chief Executive of Eden Project International Limited, said: “Lancaster University are a key partner in the development of Eden Project North, having been with us since the very beginning. Their insight was instrumental to getting this project off the ground and they also provided vital funding for the early concept work.

“We’re delighted to be strengthening our relationship with the University and look forward to working closely with them on Eden Project North and other projects beyond.”

The plan for Eden Project North is for a destination that combines indoor and outdoor experiences, connecting people with the internationally significant natural environment of Morecambe Bay while also enhancing well-being.

Its vision of a seaside resort for the twenty-first century includes reimagined lidos, gardens, performance spaces, immersive experiences and observatories.

In a recent community consultation whose results were released in March, 99 per cent of people who attended events or responded online said they were in favour of Eden Project North.

Eden in Cornwall has contributed £2 billion to the local economy and welcomed more than 22 million visitors since it fully opened in 2001.

EPIL is working with Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster University, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council to deliver Eden Project North.

Last year, Lancaster University reaffirmed its commitment to the region by pledging to put the economy and quality of life in the local community as one of its top priorities. The University committed to adopt the “Civic University Agreement” in partnership with local government and other major institutions. Read about how Lancaster University has made a difference here