Eden Project’s top boss and The Bay author sell out Chamber Spring lunch
Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce held its annual Spring business lunch last week at Morecambe Football Club, a member of the Chamber. The lunch had a record attendance of over 200 people who came along to from guest speakers, Si Bellamy, head of Eden Project International and Daragh Carville, author of The Bay, the hit ITV series filmed in the coastal town and currently featuring on ITV.
In his opening poem Alistair Eagles, Chamber President, praised the local area by noting it was changing for the better and we should all promote the area as one, work together with a positive outlook, and celebrate business by working in new ways and bringing the community together. It was now our time to stand out uniquely and as a great example to the rest of the UK – the future is ours to create.
Daragh Carville said 7.4 million people had viewed the first episode of The Bay. It filmed in Morecambe because Morecambe Bay has never had a series filmed about it, and the producer had fond memories of time spent in Morecambe when she was younger. Research has shown that a TV series filmed in an area can lead to a short to medium term increase in tourism. With Eden looming ever closer it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase all our beautiful natural assets.
Si Bellamy presented the vision for Eden North Morecambe to the packed room. Costing approximately £84 million, the team hope to have plans in by early 2020 with an estimated starting date of late 2020 and a two-year build schedule. As per Eden’s ethos, they want to have approximately an 80% local supply chain, but it must be of the best quality. The Morecambe site will be unique and all based around the old Morecambe slogan “Health Abounds and Beauty Surrounds”. It will be done in conjunction with the natural beauty of the bay and its RAMSAR status. This international convention on wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The bay is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest. (You can view the full video presentation from Si Bellamy here https://youtu.be/T1Jh5kmSGSE )
Vicky Lofthouse, Chief Executive of the Chamber, said our growing membership is testament to the faith that people in the local business community are showing the area. In the last few years, our membership has been showing an impressive year-on-year growth, and events like these help to showcase our district.
“It goes hand in hand with all the other work we are doing for our members and the district. Last week we were in London in a delegation consisting of Lancaster City Council and Lancaster University meeting with the Lancaster and Fleetwood MP, Cat Smith, and the HS2 Minister, Nusrat Ghani, and officials from the Department of Transport. We were there to put our case for a Lancaster HS2 stop should Phase 2 go ahead. This is vitally important for the whole district, and the Lake District.”
Almost £1,000 was raised for the President’s chosen charity, the Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service.