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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 July 2006, 08:49 GMT 09:49 UK
Aquarium project loan is rejected
The project would be four times larger than the Eden Project
Developers behind plans to create one of the world's largest freshwater aquariums in Bedfordshire have rejected a loan to salvage the project.

Bedfordshire County Council agreed to loan another 300,000 to Nirah, which has already received 3m.

This was on the condition that the company changed its business plan.

The board of Nirah Holdings Ltd unanimously rejected what it described as "a red tape-bound offer" and appealed to the public for support.

The money is needed to finish work for an outline planning application.

Public appeal

The National Institute for Research into Aquatic Habitats (Nirah) wants to build the development on the site of a former brick works at Stewartby.

The research complex and aquarium would be four times larger than the Eden Project in Cornwall.

City financier behind the Nirah project Peter May and Bedford Mayor Frank Branston launched a public appeal for the "Founders of Nirah" to raise 300,000.

Mr Branston said: "This is the last chance for us to bring this fantastic science, conservation and leisure project, complete with thousands of jobs and millions of pounds, to the area."

A Founders' Appeal marquee will be staged at the Bedford River Festival this weekend where hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend.

Council agrees more aquarium cash
11 Jul 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Aquarium directors ask for report
29 Jun 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Aquarium scheme cash 'restricted'
27 Jun 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Aquarium project needs more cash
21 Jun 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Government backs aquarium project
11 May 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Concerns over giant aquarium plan
29 Mar 05 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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