Boris Johnson 'positive' about plans for Morecambe's Eden Project North
The plans for Morecambe's Eden Project North were on the agenda when Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Cornwall last week.
Mr Johnson visited the original Eden Project as part of his trip to the West Country for the G7 summit, and David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, took the opportunity to chat to him about the Morecambe scheme.
Talking at an online community conversation today, Friday, David said Mr Johnson "expressed his positivity" for the Morecambe project.
"We are in active dialogue with politicians and government officers," he said.
"It is without question that the government has heard us and we will continue to work on that. It's definitely a case of 'when' not 'if' for us."
With work currently in progress ahead of submitting a planning application to Lancaster City Council later this year, public consultations will also begin next month.
The Zoom meeting also focused on how Eden Project North will benefit, collaborate and work with its neighbours.
Blair Parkin from Eden said they very much wanted to be a part of the community.
"That's our focus," he said. "It's a long-term partnership and relationship."
Prof Vanessa Toulmin, chair of the Morecambe Winter Gardens Preservation Trust, said it was hoped the Grade 2* listed theatre could work alongside Eden.
"Morecambe needs to be ambitious and having the Eden Project is a sign of that ambition," she said.
"We are the closest neighbour to the Eden Project and we are looking at what we can do to make our project right for Eden, because working together will make the composite bigger than two separate projects."
Prof Toulmin said a future aim was to turn the Winter Gardens - once known as the 'Albert Hall of the north' - into a year-round 2,500 capacity music venue.
And she said the potential to tap into the Eden Project's programme, such as using the theatre as a wet weather venue, was being examined.
Fiona Lamb, director of Avanti Architects, said there was also the opportunity to work alongside the Midland Hotel, which she said was 'one of the most significant art deco buildings of its type in England'.