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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 June, 2003, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Thumbs-up for eco-theme park
Traders in west Cumbria have given their backing to a plan for an eco-theme park inspired by the Eden Project.

Plans to transform the former Broughton Moor arms depot, near Cockermouth, into a "elemental" theme park, called Utropia, were welcomed at a public meeting on Tuesday.

A consortium has put forward proposals to build the theme park which would feature white knuckle rides based on the elemental themes of air, earth, fire and water.

They hope the scheme - if it is given the go-ahead - could create hundreds of jobs and bring in outside investment.

'Grand scale'

Andrew White, chairman of Maryport Chamber of Trade, said the plans were impressive.

He said: "Bringing thousands of people into the area can only be good for the place.

"West Cumbria definitely needs a shot in the arm of money poured into it and this could just be the answer we have all been looking for.

"People in the past have tried to do things to bring people into west Cumbria because visitors tend to stick in the Lakes and don't go beyond there.

"Things are improving on the coast, in the likes of Whitehaven, but we need to get those people up here as well and I'm sure everyone in west Cumbria can benefit from this kind of project."

The meeting of traders on Tuesday was told the Utropia project would be similar to the Eden Project, in Cornwall, but on a "grander scale".

Traders discuss theme park plan
03 Jun 03  |  Cumbria

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