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Eden Project secures £150m for second UK development in Devon

Eco-champion Sir Tim Smit’s proposal for his ‘Ark’ project, planned to be a centrepiece for Devon as a second Eden Project in the UK, has secured the £150m (US$235m, €212m) needed to fund development.

According to Smit, the “money is in place” for Eden Westwood, which would comprise a tourism and leisure complex near Tiverton in Devon, focusing on the “key strengths and attributes” of the county. The majority of funding has been pledged by insurance company Friends Life.

The Ark structure would sit at the heart of the Eden Westwood development, housing an interactive and experimental educational facility showcasing Devon produce. In addition, the plans include a surf lake and beach, hotel, regional visitor centre and a designer outlet shopping village. The proposal has been submitted to Mid Devon District Council for inclusion in its draft 2013-2033 Local Plan.

"We believe that such a site can create a lens through which Devon can be seen as a world leader in the agricultural arena and that of sustainable construction, retail and tourism,” said Smit.

"I believe we can create the world's most attractive and unusual visitor information centre, which will actively promote businesses throughout Devon.”

Eden Regen, the team which helps fund new projects, currently has six Eden attractions on the books in development worldwide: three in China, one in New Zealand, one in Canada and one in Central Europe.

“We have two ambitions,” said Smit speaking in the Q4 2014 edition of Attractions Management. "We want to create a global chain of major Eden-type projects which share a culture yet transfer their different cultural perspectives; and, we want to influence as many people as possible that there’s another way to run the planet.”

The Eden Project team is currently undertaking a detailed review of every aspect of the proposed development at Westwood, from landscaping and design to transport arrangements and the proposed building materials. The team will then produce a series of recommendations aimed at making sure the scheme far exceeds modern sustainability standards. Architects have not yet been appointed for the project.

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FEATURE: Interview – Tim Smit

Eco-champion Sir Tim Smit’s proposal for his ‘Ark’ project, planned to be a centrepiece for Devon as a second Eden Project in the UK, has secured the £150m (US$235m, €212m) needed to fund development. According to Smit, the “money is in place” for Eden Westwood, which would comprise a tourism and leisure complex near Tiverton in Devon, focusing on the “key strengths and attributes” of the county. The majority of
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The Ark structure would sit at the heart of the Eden Westwood / Eden Project
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