£50 million boost for Eden Project North in Morecambe from government's Levelling Up fund
Report by ITV Granada Correspondent Ann O'Connor
The North West will receive more than £213 million from round two of the Government's Levelling Up fund - including £50 million for the Eden Project North in Morecambe.
The money will see a derelict site on Morecambe's seafront transformed into a world class visitor attraction.
It will also kick-start regeneration more widely in Morecambe, creating jobs, supporting tourism and encouraging investment in the seaside town.
Lancaster City Council and developers say the £50 million fund would be half the estimated cost of the project, and the projected 740,000 visitors would bring cash that would exceed the funding.
Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: "Eden Project North provides an outstanding opportunity to reinvent Morecambe for the 21st century.
"Simply put, it will transform the local economy and have a transformative effect not just on Morecambe but the whole region."
David Morris, MP, for Morecambe and Lunesdale said: "Thursday 19 January is now a red letter day in Morecambe’s history and I couldn’t be more delighted the hard work has paid off and Eden Project Morecambe is now a reality.
"Everyone in Morecambe will be celebrating tonight and can be immensely proud of what we have achieved for our community."
The Conservative MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, David Morris, gave his reaction to the news on Granada Reports
Eden Project North is from the same people who are behind the Eden Project in Cornwall.
That was constructed in a clay pit 20 years ago, and is now a hugely successful tourist attraction which showcases plant life and measures to preserve the environment.
It is hoped work will start on building Eden Project North in 2024.
Many more projects across the North West have received funding, after the Government asked for bids on what are described as "flagship projects and (that) must be in line with the Fund’s focus on highly visible interventions that boost local pride".
Where in the North West is money from Round 2 is going?
Blackburn - £20 million to be invested into the infrastructure to tackle congestion and give people more options to walk and cycle around the town.
Blackpool - £40 million for a new carbon neutral university campus at the Talbot Gateway which will be at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence and robotic learning.
Ellesmere Port - £13 million to build new cycle links and walkways, upgrade the market hall with new children's play area, and Changing Places toilets for to enable people with disabilities to live more independently in the community
Accrington - £20 million to bring several buildings back into use, including giving a new lease of life to the historic Market Hall, which will be transformed into a modern food hall.
Halewood - £15 million to improve transport, sporting and leisure facilities, to expand the District Centre and grow the local economy.
Lancashire - £50 million for three projects to create greener and safer travel for people across the whole of the county
Morecambe - £50 million for Eden Project North which will transform the bay and attract thousands of new visitors.
Oldham - £20 million to boost its ambition to become a top destination for green businesses by creating new green spaces for businesses and a new Learning Centre offering vocational courses.
Preston - £20 million to regenerate parks across the city which will provide better green spaces for people to come together and socialise.
Earlestown - £20 million to 'reimagine' the derelict Town Hall as a new hub and workspace for the community and boost the historic market square
Trafford - £18 million to redevelop Partington Sports Village with state of the art facilities for the local community.
Wigan - £20 million to restore the magnificent Haigh Hall stately home which has stood at the heart of Wigan's history for 900 years
A total of 111 areas across the country have been awarded £2 billion of funding from the second of the government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund
Secretaries of State will be visiting winning projects across the UK to see how local leaders will deliver for local people.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it is part of his commitment to "build a future of optimism."
But Labour accused the Government of presiding over a "Hunger Games-style contest where communities are pitted against one another".
It was one of the biggest news stories of our time - and it’s still not over. So what did Boris Johnson know about Downing Street’s notorious parties? With fresh revelations from our Number 10 sources, in their own words, listen to the inside story.