The Eden Project is to begin work on a feasibility study for a proposed new project in Dundee.
Eden is working with Dundee City Council and the University of Dundee and the study is being supported by businesses and institutions in the area.
The proposal – provisionally known as Eden Project Scotland – is part of Eden’s portfolio of international projects which also includes developments in China, Australia, New Zealand and Costa Rica as well as UK projects including in Morecambe, Derry~Londonderry and Portland.
The feasibility study, which is due to commence in early June, will establish a suitable site for the project, begin developing content ideas and explore the potential for creating jobs and boosting the regional economy.
Like every Eden Project around the world, Eden Project Scotland will be transformational and regenerative with an overarching theme of humanity’s connection to the natural world.
The original Eden Project, located near St Austell in Cornwall, opened in March 2001 and boasts the world-famous geodesic Biomes, one of which houses the world’s biggest undercover rainforest. Eden has welcomed more than 22 million visitors since opening and has generated more than £2bn for the regional economy.
David Harland, Chief Executive of Eden Project International, said: “We are really excited to be working in Dundee. It is a vibrant city with big ambitions and we hope to be able to create something that encapsulates its unique appeal. The opening of the city’s V&A in 2018 was a bold statement of intent and we want to be part of the next wave, helping establish Dundee as a truly world-class destination.
“The city was traditionally known for its ‘jute, jam and journalism’, to which we would hope to add some joy, jubilation and, if not an actual jungle, at least the spirit that enabled us to build one under cover in an abandoned quarry in Cornwall.”
John Alexander, Dundee City Council leader, said: “We are delighted to be working with Eden Project International and our local and national partners on such an exciting collaboration. There’s a clear alignment between what Eden is known for – sustainability, education and a first-class visitor experience – and what we want to deliver here in Dundee.
“Bringing Eden Project Scotland to Dundee would not only mean securing an amazing asset for local people to enjoy, but also adding another world-class attraction to our future visitor offer. Tourism was a key pillar of the Dundee economy before the devastating events of the past few months, and it will be again. The vision, ambition and determination embodied in projects like such as Eden – and V&A Dundee before it – will be critical to creating jobs and prosperity as we as a city recover and rebuild.”
Professor David Maguire, Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, said, “Working with the Eden Project offers some exciting possibilities for the city and the University. We are looking forward to exploring the benefits this could bring to our research, teaching and community engagement. Having the Eden Project mentioned alongside V&A Dundee could further boost the city’s standing far and wide, and add to our attractiveness as a destination.”
Fergus Ewing, Tourism Secretary, commented: “In these incredibly challenging times for tourism, business and the wider economy, it is encouraging to see potential new growth through the next steps towards Eden Project Scotland being taken. Dundee has a growing international reputation as a prestigious cultural and tourism destination and today’s announcement is incredibly welcome news for the city and wider region.
“I have no doubt the project will play a key role in Dundee’s strategic economic recovery from Covid-19, providing many benefits and opportunities to secure jobs, increase investment and attract more visitors to the area.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The dramatic transformation of Dundee’s waterfront continues apace with this fantastic news. The plans and illustrations for the preferred site look nothing short of stunning. Alongside the iconic V&A, Eden is another game-changing draw to the city and the surrounding area and will play a key role in Dundee’s strategic economic recovery from Covid.”
“Tourism remains a key driver for the inclusive growth of Scotland’s economy and in these incredibly challenging times the Eden project in Scotland can provide many benefits and opportunities to secure jobs, increase investment and attract more visitors to the area.”
Picture: Artists impression of the Eden Project Scotland in Dundee