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Monday, 17 December, 2001, 22:13 GMT
Local firms make millions from Eden
Eden Project
The Eden Project has generated more than a hundred million pounds for the local economy in just eight months, according to a new study.

Since the world's largest greenhouse opened near St Austell in Cornwall in April this year it has attracted more than 1.7m visitors.

Research shows half a million of these were people whose trip to Cornwall was influenced by the opening of Eden and they spent an estimated 111 million in the region.

I am sure that all of Cornwall and the South West will be celebrating the results

Malcolm Bell, South West Tourism
Eden aims to recreate different climates from around the world inside giant glass domes called biomes.

It aims to show man's dependance on plants and has species from places including Africa, South America, the Mediterranean and Malaysia.

A quarter of businesses surveyed said their turnover had increased as a direct result of Eden and 94% said it had made a positive impact to the image of Devon and Cornwall.

Dave Meneer, marketing director of The Eden Project, said a key objective was to regenerate the wider region.

"These early figures show how spectacularly we have done just that."

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of South West Tourism, said: "I am sure that all of Cornwall and the South West will be celebrating the results.

Thousands questioned

"It shows that Eden is not only drawing visitors to Cornwall but it is also benefiting the rest of the region."

The Millennium Commission contributed 43 million to the 86 million cost of the Eden Project.

Mike O'Connor, CBE, director of the Millennium Commission welcomed the study's findings.

"I congratulate the whole team at Eden who have worked so hard to ensure the project has exceeded all our expectations."

The economic impact survey included a visitor questionnaire filled out by 1,395 people and a postal survey of 1,913 businesses in St Austell, Penzance, Plymouth and Exeter.

Big pull

The survey work was carried out by Andrew Jasper of St Just as part of his university thesis.

It was then turned into an economic impact study by Geoff Broom Associates of Totnes and AcumeniA of Exeter.

Next month new figures are expected to show Eden is among the top five paid-for attractions in the UK, alongside the London Eye, Alton Towers, the Tower of London and Madame Tussaud's.

It is now the South West's most visited attraction beating Stonehenge and the Roman Baths at Bath.

Eden directly employs about 400 people all the year round and 90% of them live within a 20-mile radius.

Click here to go to Devon
See also:

03 Dec 01 | England
Adam and Eve return to Eden
02 Nov 01 | England
The Eden garden grows
31 Aug 01 | Sci/Tech
Lizards and frogs enter Eden
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