New images of Eden Project North revealed as online community consultation opens into £125m Morecambe scheme
Eden Project bosses say their Morecambe scheme will be "something new and unique that will be talked about all around the world".
As part of an online community conversation today, Friday, the team behind the Eden Project North released new images of the site, which are now available to see as part of a virtual engagament event.
The project has now reached a crucial community consultation stage, and anyone interested is able to see the plans for themselves online here until August 6, as well as give feedback on the proposals.
Images include the latest design of how the whole site is expected to look, as well as a closer look at the design of both the interior and exterior of the project.
In Friday's Zoom conversation, Eden Project International chief executive David Harland said he likened the scheme to the idea of the original Cornwall site, where the team wanted to "breathe new life" into an area.
"We thought we could really make a difference and be a catalyst," he said. "This is very much about taking advantage of the biodiversity of the bay.
"We want this to be something new and unique that will be talked about all around the world."
Andy Barnes from Grimshaw Architects said the scheme incorporated designs "inspired by the nature of Morecambe Bay".
"We want Eden Project North to be exemplary in terms of its sustainability," he added.
The scheme centres around a series of shell forms to enclose the space, creating an iconic new piece of architecture for the promenade, he said.
"The idea is that Eden Project North will create a new landmark which enhances the existing landscape," added architect Camila Rock.
The community consultation says Eden Project North will "re-imagine the British seaside resort for the 21st century, using the stunning setting of Morecambe Bay as the inspiration to create a colony of shell-like pavilions that fuse natural wonder, health and well-being, education and art.
"We will create a year-round must-visit destination of international reputation, and a cultural hub to help support and facilitate the needs and dreams of the bay community and region.
"Eden Project North will be an exemplat of thoughtful and responsible design, demonstrating efficient use of resources and responsible selection of materials to achieve our goal of 'regenerative sustainability'."
The site will be built over three levels, one of those below ground level, with priority given to using natural materials such as timber.
The project will connect visitors to the world around them through several 'rhythms' - cultural, daily, tidal, lunar and solar, and seasonal.
One part of the site - the Rhythm Garden - will support outdoor events, with an additional seasonal space which can be used by the Winter Gardens.
A walkway around the whole site will make the scheme easily accessible to the public while keeping the original look of the promenade.
Transport links have been worked on with stakeholders including Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council, and include plans for sustainable transport as well as car travel - with a free park & ride shuttle bus planned from Junction 34 of the M6.
Careful planning of the booking system would ensure a limit on visitor and car numbers per hour and per day - with a peak weekend of an estimated 7,500 visitors - far lower than festival weekends in Morecambe which can bring in up to 55,000 people.
While the Cornwall site sees around 1m visitors a year, it is estimated Eden Project North will attract around 830,000.
The team hopes to submit a planning application to the city council in the next few weeks, with - if all goes to plan - an official opening for the £125m scheme planned for summer 2024.
"That's a timeline that is still achievable," Dave said. "We are on course and dialogue with the government continues to be positive."
Take a look at our online gallery of new Eden Project North illustrations here.