A Lancashire county councillor has lifted the lid on the first official meetings which discussed plans for Eden Project North.
Charlie Edwards, Lancashire County Councillor for Morecambe South, has backed the ongoing funding campaign for Eden Project North since he was first told about it back in 2016.
Speaking to LancsLive regarding his excitement towards the project, which is expected to bring £200m into the Morecambe Bay economy, Charlie has recounted the first time he was presented with the rough plans for Eden Project North by entrepreneur, and Lancaster University alumni, Ian Hughes.
Cllr Edwards says the project was originally presented to Lancaster city councillors, when he represented the Bare Ward, in a private council meeting, two years before concrete plans were revealed to the public.
"It is so strange to think that back then it was simply one man's dream for Morecambe," said the county councillor.
"He needed funding to flesh out this idea for this amazing project to come to Morecambe, I remember he had some basic drawings with him to show us.
"One design was like a giant beetle with each leg on the jetty acting as piers going off into the water.
"As soon as I looked at the plans it was a no brainer; I knew that we needed this."
Plans for an Eden Project biodome centre in Morecambe, a twin of the attraction in Cornwall, were first revealed to the public in 2018.
Ian was the man behind the original plans, before Eden Project came on board, and few know that he originally lobbied Lancaster City Council with his vision for an Eden Project in Morecambe Bay, five years ago.
Cllr Edwards says the plans were a unifying force at the council.
"It was pretty unanimous, there was a general excitement in the room," said the former Bare ward councillor.
"I seem to remember that it did really bring us all together, across all parties, we were all singing from the same hymn sheet which you rarely see.
"It was hard to begin with because we couldn't talk about the project to the press or anyone else."
There was something else that stood out to Cllr Edwards, namely the first line on the documents for the project.
It was a real statement about the project and what it could do for the Bay.
He said: "I remember, in the original documents, the opening line was 'Morecambe has had its fair share of false dawns'.
"It's true, people have heard this all before with previous ideas but we have to be positive about Eden Project North as a town."
Since then plans for the £125m northern Eden Project have come on leaps and bounds with millions ploughed into the attraction by councils, businesses and universities.
Eden Project North is expected to employ 400 people and inject hundreds of millions of pounds into the regional economy, supporting a further 1,600 jobs.
The centre will feature a 4,000 person music venue, an environment filled with plants and art exhibits, an observatory and a wellbeing centre with treatments based on the health giving aspects of the seaside.
Eden Project North lobbied the government late in 2020 to provide £70m for the project; they are still awaiting confirmation in regards to the funds.
Cllr Edwards said: "Until the words actually come out of the prime ministers mouth: 'The Eden Project has the £70m' then we can't be certain that it will go ahead but I am quietly confident.
"This will be a huge project for the Bay, I would urge people to make their businesses Eden Project friendly and to invest in the project if they can.
"We have to be positive and back this."
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