Plans for Eden Westwood, a “mini” Eden project in Tiverton, Devon, are back on the table after delays.
Eden Westwood will be a £200m project including a surf lake. It will create a unique visitor destination as a gateway to Devon. It will celebrate food, farming and life in Devon.
The development will be discussed at a two-day meeting in September.
The project has been on the cards for several years but has been met with delays. Malcolm Dudley-Williams has been working on the concept since 2002. He said: “Mid Devon wants a top destination and I think this is going to take it to the next level.”
Eden Westwood is a joint effort from the Eden Project and investors Friends Life, part of the Aviva Group. Mr Dudley-Williams is a promoter and retains an interest in the scheme.
The destination will be split into four zones. Attractions will include a hotel, a visitor hub, an artificial surfing lake, a food hall, outdoor play areas, cafes and restaurants, shops for small businesses and a designer clothes outlet discount shopping centre.
The surf lagoon will be at the heart of the outdoor adventure zone.
The plans have attracted criticism over the years. Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw fought to block the proposals that will be built on open farmland. However Mr Dudley-Williams said that the scheme would benefit the whole of Devon and will direct visitors to surrounding areas. “This will put Devon at the centre of agronomy,” he said. “Here is an opportunity here to create a new centre of expertise that could be sold to the rest of the world.”
“I would like to think that the number of people who commute out from Tiverton to Exeter, Bridgwater, Taunton and Bristol would come down a bit and create some opportunities here for young people.”
It will create 1,200 jobs and boost investment into the area.
Image courtesy Eden Westwood