We’d be surprised if you didn’t know about the Eden Project already. Built on the site of a former clay pit near St. Austell, this garden complex has become one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions, having welcomed 22 million visitors since it first opened in 2001. Those massive geodesic biomes – which house the largest indoor rainforest in the world, FYI – are an iconic sight the world over.
And now, in excellent news for people in other parts of the UK at least, the charity and social enterprise behind the gardens is going global. The Eden Project North in Morecambe on the Lancashire coast is already under construction, with a subterranean site on the Isle of Portland in Dorset and a riverside complex on the banks of the Foyle in Northern Ireland also in the works.
And after that? Plans have just been unveiled for a new Scottish outpost, on the site of a former gasworks on Dundee’s East Dock Street. The Eden Project identified the plot as its preferred site following a six-month study and has just signed a deal with its owners, the National Grid and SGN, to explore the feasibility of building its next big attraction there.
Less than a mile from V&A Dundee, which opened in 2018, the site will be an eastern anchor for the Dundee waterfront regeneration project, which has seen £1 billion invested in transforming an 8km stretch of land on the banks of the River Tay.
Described by the charity as a ‘powerful symbol of regeneration’, Eden Project Dundee will feature walled gardens and draw on the Nine Incorporated Trades of Dundee that form a key part of the city’s history. Should it go ahead as planned, the project is expected to create 200 jobs and generate £27 million a year for the local economy.
Surprising as it sounds, Dundee could be about to become the hottest staycation destination in the UK.