Eden Project North | North Lancs Expo | Si Bellamy OBE

Good afternoon everyone! It’s always a
huge pleasure to come to Lancaster but particularly obviously Morecambe, I’m always really conscious when I talk in Lancaster that there’s a whole world
out there and particularly now I’m speaking to friends and people who were down on that
seafront. My day this morning started really weirdly when I got in a cab at
8:30am at the train station and said take me to the Brewery and it’s not something I
normally say. But it brought into sharp focus because last night I was
actually in Beijing and before that I was in Qingdao in the morning. The only reason I say that is because it shows that we’re working as Eden Project
International on global projects. You are now part of a global project! The
interesting thing as well about Qingdao, Qingdao is a coastal community, when I was chatting to people in Qingdao yesterday that I was coming here, they said
“we share a lot with Morecambe”, just think about that for a moment you never thought that would happen. Two coastal communities. Two communities of people wanting something better. Two communities that are looking to the future, and so what I’m going to
say this afternoon hopefully will resonate and again it just reinforces
from the start but for us this has never been about Eden Project North being a
local project, clearly it is because of connections but it’s about seeing this on a global
scale and looking… again reflecting on yesterday, with the climate emergency with people taking climate action, about how Morecambe can find its place in everything else that’s
going on the world right now. It’s never been a better time to have this project and I’m
absolutely thrilled to be able to talk to you this afternoon about it and some
of you who’ve heard me speak before about Eden Project North and Morecambe in particular so I’m gonna go back to the beginning if I can just to talk about a few things but I think
before I do that I just like to pick up on a couple of things of what we’ve done
and what’s happened already and it’s really remiss of me to,
every time I drive into Morecambe now and I see the Eden Project Learning sign at Lancaster & Morecambe College… can I just take a show of hands if you’ve seen that sign?
That’s the first statement of long before an Eden Project comes, the education… we’re an education charity first and foremost and education is a wonderful part of what we
try to do, so massive thanks to Wes Johnson, the wonderful team at Lancaster & Morecambe College, who’ve quite frankly helped this to take it and live from this moment and
Professor Rob Barrett who well as well who is pretty suffering a bit with an illness at the moment so we wish Rob could be with us and wish him well but again the
reason I mentioned that is Eden Project isn’t something that’s happening as a
building in a few years time Eden Project is an attitude ,it’s a way of
looking at life as a provocation and particularly as an education charity we’re
really thrilled that so many new students have decided to take up the new
Eden offer as part of Eden Project Learning which is a 25-year strategy, working to
transform the education offer with all the education partners in this region
were absolutely thrilled that that is now happening, that’s not talk that is now happening, the second thing we’ve done as well of
things that have happened, clearly people are aware that we’re engaging with
government to try and get the funding to sort this project and again that is now
happening, we’ve engaged with Jake Berry, we’ve engaged with Northern Powerhouse,
we’ve engaged with the NP 11, so it really keen to make sure the financial aspects
of this project have have happened and are gonna continue to grow so we’re
pleased that’s now done and also something fun so you may or may not be
aware that we started a small community project of public art working with the
artistic community and we sent out an open call for public art and I’d like to announce our
three first elements of public art that are going to be coming forward,
the first one we’ve got is is gonna be called ‘Warmth’ and that’s by a wonderful
artist I’m just checking now which is Bethany Wells and that’s going to be
wait for it a sauna in a horse box and we’re going to take that out on the road
and we want people to seek the warmth in that place and have some wonderful
conversations. So that’s going to come to Morecambe in the local area in the next
three to four months, we’ve also got Daniel Bye is doing a wonderful inspiration through music and walking
actually, where we’re going to create a community choir with an inspiration
called ‘These Hills Are Ours’ and that’s going to be started as well in the next
couple of months so they’ll be recruiting so any budding people wish
to get express themselves through song look out for Daniel and finally Rebecca
Burns is doing some artistic interpretation with shop fronts starting in the West End. So there’s some exciting things happening, the reason I
say all of that is because sometimes you may feel that we get up on the stage and
we talk about things were going to do we talk about things we’d like to do. There is
stuff that’s already happening and we’re really committed to Morecambe and really
committed to this project more than ever before. So I said I’d talk about why
Morecambe and I was chatting to somebody else this morning, and they said ‘why Morecambe?’ Why not?! For us it’s the
most natural thing in the world. Morecambe is incredible this place is
absolutely incredible and every time I come to Morecambe… even on the 10th of August when I was there meeting people for the Carnival I was
getting blown sideways with what little hair or gray hair I’ve got and feeling
am I going to hang on? Do you know what? It’s a remarkable place, you can’t help but
feel connected to the bay and you look out from that Promenade and, when the day you can see it and there’s plenty of those, you see the Lake
District across the beautiful sands and the mirrored water… it’s an incredible
place and of course many people here know that but we want more people to
know it because Morecambe is just stunning! Why else why else should it be Morecambe? Well when you look out in the bay the
bay happens also to be a Ramsar site of international significance it also
happens to be a site of special scientific interest, it has multiple other
designations. I’m sure there’s lots of specialists in this room who can to
really justify just how important Morecambe Bay is but the inter-tidal kind of region
that just has the most wonderful ecosystems to be explored, the over
wintering birds that are particularly unique, the list goes on! It’s another reason why we
love Morecambe so much because the ecosystems the wildlife the sense of
connection with nature is just remarkable! Why wouldn’t you love that?
And then there’s more stuff which is why wouldn’t you come to a place to try and
deliver the mission driven, the purpose driven stuff that we wish to do
with the community we’re working with, when there’s 10.6 million
people within two hours of the site. Let’s just think about that for a moment,
in Cornwall there’s 1.6 million people within our site in Cornwall so the scale
of reach with Eden Project North in Morecambe is on a different level to
anything we’ve done before and that’s another great reason but I think the
final one is to seek inspiration from history, and that is Morecambe was always a place that had a wonderful DNA it had a wonderful sense of what it represented
to itself back in the 19th century it was a place that inspired people to be a
bit of a ‘posh’ Blackpool don’t know if I should say that but it inspired people,
to wherever they were working, they’d leave that industrial
time that heavy work that was of that period and come to Morecambe to refresh to unwind to spend time with their families to do things that are exciting to do
entertainment and to really connect with the place that they could leave their
working life behind just for a moment that was Morecambe in its heyday and
people came in their droves and when you look at the Platform and I’m often
reminded that the eleven railway lines or twelve that came to the Platform you
think my god, Morecambe that was… that was amazing but then life changed
and we knew life changing there’s lots of reasons why it changed but that’s not
Morecambe finished and done and that’s the other reason why we love Morecambe because Morecambe has a motto that simply says ‘beauty surrounds and health abounds’, it
talks about a place that is naturally incredibly beautiful whatever time of
year that may be it’s been beautiful in the past and it’s beautiful now and it
will be even more beautiful in the future but it’s also placed around
health. Back in the past people didn’t talk about well-being it was simply
health, feeling healthy or not feeling healthy but health and well-being has
never ever been so important in our society that’s about healthy minds
healthy bodies healthy planet so all of this is interconnected and Morecambe sits right in the middle of it so when people say why Morecambe that’s why we say… ‘why not?!’ Because everything we ever wish to be
inspired by a place is here and it’s not just here in a little bit it’s here in
huge amounts and huge numbers that we can really work from. The final reason
really why why Morecambe is because we always love to work in a place where a
transformation is possible and Cornwall in the early in 1999 – 2000 was a place of transformation. Can I get a show of hands who’s been to Eden Project in Cornwall. Great, that’s a good number and a transformation there for those who’ve seen it was a industrial
transformation of a clay pit that had ended its natural life and Tim in his
brilliance was able to go to the top of that pit with other people and say
‘yeah we’re gonna build some biomes here’, he didn’t know that at the time and all
the history that come from that it was simply about making a connection between a rain forest, the importance of plants and people and feeling that the best way
to tell that story was to create the biggest rain forests in captivity. You
often think that of course and then making sure we bring amazing people
together to feel that something is possible and that’s what the project
represents, it was a response also to that time. Well Morecambe needs a different response and the response from Morecambe is all around health, well-being, it’s
around the entertainment of the of the sea side resort and that’s why when we talk
about the transformation of Morecambe it’s about reimagining it as the 21st century
seaside resort but we always like to work in places that could be transformed
and so for us the fundamental part of that about having the transformation of
the environment, now we did that in Cornwall by transforming a derelict clay
pit into the largest rainforest in captivity and for Morecambe, our
aspiration our vision for Morecambe is to transform the environment not to
recreate something that needs to be there because Morecambe is already
marvellous it’s to transform people’s perceptions around that
environment and to make sure we make Morecambe Bay the most understood bay, the most understood area that we possibly can so people feel they can really connect and
most importantly care about Morecambe Bay, the second element of transformation
that we always love is of course economic and those you may or may not
know but since Eden Project in our twenty near 20 years of operation
in Cornwall and particularly of a business minded community we’ve been
able to generate nearly 2 billion pounds of growth and economic investment in the region. That is huge and all the jobs that flow from that over 20 years
so that’s another part and I can go into the supply chain maybe some questions as
well because that means people can be optimistic about investment they can be
optimistic and confident in terms of what that means the businesses
and the third one of course is is that sense of social transformation which is
about the connection with each other and it’s wonderful to see so many people
here today, so many families and kids, keep being noise in the back because I
don’t really mind so keep doing it, is to connect with each other because without
community you have nothing you have nothing. If people treat the community
like their mobile phone and when it broke, I’ve got to fix it, I’ need it… well if
your community’s broke and broken fix it! Do something about it, don’t just stand by and say well our community’s not where we want it to be, so again social cohesion
and that social transformation is something that we absolutely love and Morecambe has
already got a wonderful community and we cannot wait to be part of that community with you and to help, we’re just making sure whatever the future holds we’re doing it
together as a community of people. So that’s why Morecambe I hope that’s
that’s where it is for us. So the next thing I was going to go to really is is
some of the themes and I’m really really pleased today to be able to… often when
myself or others have been speaking we often talk about the design,
and I’m really pleased enough to bring these slides, because these things have
been up here for a long time now and hopefully people are aware that the
design we have and what’s it going to look like yeah can we have a design
what’s gonna look that’s it it’s the mussel shells because Morecambe is rooted in that kind of … the various crustaceans and how you can see things
in the Bay and it connects but people also want to know what’s it going to feel
like and what we’re moving into now is not what it’s going to look like but what’s it
going to feel like? So I’m gonna keep the teaser for just a bit longer because I
can tell you some more about that and you are the first people to KNOW some of
the stuff that’s going to go in the project so we’re really excited about
this but the main themes just to make sure everyone’s aware. You can’t be
in Morecambe and not get this sense of rhythm, yes there’s the rhythm of the
tides and of course it is said when with people a couple of months ago.
that Morecambe Bay has been made by the moon! You think about that for a while,
and you think ‘really?’ and it is it’s tidal its lunar and it’s the lunar cycles that
have made Morecambe Bay the bay that it is, the wonder, the natural wonder that it
is but there’s also the the beautiful sunsets and you can’t stand on that
sea front and look and gaze over the mirrored
waters, looking over the Lake District and you get this sense of these, these
rhythms, these tides of the lunar cycle, the circadian rhythms… Morecambe again
is rooted in rhythm many different natural rhythms and all of us here are
rooted in rhythms, again with my travelling I know my rhythms aren’t quite
right, right now and it really shows you when your rhythms out of
balance you feel it, you know it you don’t feel good about those things and
bringing that sense of perception that if our planet if the rhythms of our
planet are out balance you’ve got to do something about that, bringing awareness
to Morecambe Bay, on Morecambe Bay you can see the rhythms every day and that’s
a fundamental part of our project and when we talk about health and well-being
there’s nothing more important than the rhythms of our health when you feel good
when you don’t feel good why don’t you feel good and all those
things we’re going to bring to life in the project! So if that’s the premise for
it what’s it going to be, I think I need a drum roll now probably. So I’ve talked
about rhythms, we’ve talked about natural wonder, that sense of connection, we’ve
talked about entertainment and we’ve talked about health and well-being and
all of those things are aspects that Morecambe has had already and we’re going to bring it back but we’re going to bring it back in an incredibly exciting
immersive and hopefully enjoyable way for people with Eden Project. So there are
a number of things that will go into these structures and by the way these
are concepts and they’re continually being developed so don’t be surprised when
they start modifying themselves over the next several months but we’re really
excited to announce for the first time that we’ve got the fundamental parts now
and we’ve been spending a number of months working through exactly the content
we’re not going to give them all out and you wouldn’t expect us to, we need to keep some secrets from people but effectively the fundamental parts of Eden Project
North are going to be around the themes of recreating this 21st century seaside
resort and reimagining that but it is fundamentally about the rhythms of the
bay the connection of the bay and making sure the health and well-being elements
are absolutely rooted in the site and you expect me to say we’re going to make
sure you have the most wonderful day you possibly can through entertainment. So when you arrive the first thing you’re going to do is come to the Bay Hall and if any of you been to
look at some of the big grand foyers of things like the Tate Modern when you
come into the Tate Modern, you see this big open space we’re going to create the
best arrival point you can imagine we’re going to make sure when people arrive,
the threshold of arrival says I have arrived at Eden Project North I’ve
arrived at this place I’m going to make sure this is a way to sensitize you to
those issues to sensitize you to the wonder that is the bay so you’re gonna
start seeing exhibits they’re going to start being connected with some of the
immersive experiences but most of all you’re gonna come in and
say wow this place just feels amazing this place is feels like a place to
spend some time and from there the main component would start going into
what we can call the from the bay hall we’re then going to go into what we hope
is going to be one with the immersive elements of it which is that
the Above The Bay so this again connects the place of a really abundant space
it’s a space that’s probably the space that’s most akin to our place in
Cornwall this is gonna be filled with lights it’s going to fill the plants and
Eden Project is known for it’s horticulture so Above The Bay is going to talk about
all the stories that are linked to the solar cycles the circadian rhythms the
Sun and this is going to be the biggest expanse it’s volumous its large it’s
gonna be multilevel it’s going to be multi-sensory and when you walk into this space again it’s a new space it’s exquisite it’s gonna feel calming
it’s going to make you feel open to some of those stories that we want to
tell about the things that happen above the bay but if we’re going Above The Bay,
we’re going Below The Bay and that’s the next one and this point is the most
exciting part of the project, we’ll be taking ourselves to places we’ve never
worked before and we really want to do it in Morecambe which is it’s going to be
an immersive theatre and with that we’re going to start bringing in new
technologies to take people into spaces that they haven’t been before it’s
theatrical and it’s deliberately theatrical to make sure that we can
connect all those stories with people may not be aware of for example what
happens when the intertidal area is what happens when the bay changes that’s
Below The Bay and that place is inspired by the moon and this is another amazing
departure for us and we’re incredibly excited about it we’ve got Above The Bay,
we’ve got Below The Bay and then we’ve got the natural sanctuary so if it’s a
project inspired totally by health and well-being, we want to make sure that
people utterly connected to the essential
elements of life that make you feel good so this is a sanctuary where you can
feel the healing benefits of nature and for those you who aspire to this sense
of the blue gym, the green gym that sense of we all know that when you when you
typically ocean there’s a reason thing people people feel better when they’re
near the sea it’s because of the effects of the ocean and so as I put my teeth in
think philasotherapy, think treatments, think a way of feeling good by being
connected to the blue environment but likewise think calmness and tranquillity
think that when you’re in a wooded space green space how you feel and we’re
going to bring those to life and people be able to sense those spaces but also
they’ll be able to to book and take some treatments in those spaces as well, ways to make them feel better and I’m really pleased we’ve got Lancaster University
here today as well because the other part of the site that’s really important
to us is the natural observatory a natural observatory is another key
component of the scheme which is our research base our science base our
serious doing space as a living laboratory and when we’re looking at
things they’re going to help this planet become more healthy we’re going to bring
serious science to bear but make sure that isn’t just some of us held in a
back room, it’s a means of education is absolutely linked to Eden Project Learning and the offer through education and so we’re connecting people with
learning, education. science, citizen science how you’re all contributing for
some of those things so we’re really really excited about that too and then
the final part this scheme is what we can call these satellites which are these
elements that can be peppered along the Promenade because we’re working really
closely with Lancaster City Council to transform the public realm not only as
part of Eden Project North but potentially as part of Future High
Streets as well and we really want to make sure that in all parts along the
public realm, along the bay and on the promenade there are areas where you can dwell, you can stop, you can reflect, you can look, you can bring
people together. There’s a number of parts to that and one we’re really
excited about is the Bay Landing and the Bay Landing for us is going to be an
area where hopefully this is one we’ve got to really work through but we can
start taking people out onto the bay not fearful of the bay, with respect for the bay
and start working with those people locally that can make that happen
because if you can understand the bay wouldn’t be going to get people out on
to it how we do that we’re really excited about that we can’t wait to develop that further, the business part of this and we know there’s lots of people again with
the Expo, they’re saying how can we get involved? There’s a couple of things I
just wanted to mention to people which is first of all getting involved as a
volunteer because Eden Project has a huge history of volunteering and our
volunteers are absolutely vital for what we do and we’ll be looking forward to
hopefully to working with a number of people to start volunteering network in
Morecambe which for us is fundamental to how we can try and do things, the second
one that is is a as a supplier and I’ve been chatting to people and
dragged sideways to chat to others and say well how can we become a supplier?
Well the first thing really is tell us you want to become a supplier and I’m
really pleased that the Chamber actually, I’m just looking, are gonna start
working with us to say if you want to become a supplier, we can start working
with the Chamber that’s not the only way of course but it’s a great place to
start and it goes without saying but if you wish to work with Eden Project and
we wish to work with you you’ve got to have amazing products we always seek to
bring the best products we can to our visitors and that ideally should be
within a supply chain that’s pretty close because that’s the most
sustainable thing you can do and we’re really really proud that 80 percent of
our supply chain comes from Devon and Cornwall let’s just think about that for
a moment we’re trying to make that even more if we can in in Cumbria and
Lancashire and there’s no reason why we can’t but comes from amazing products,
amazing businesses and a supply chain respect the fact we all have to live
within a sustainable ecosystem and the most important thing any business that
can do to work with Eden Project is to really look at your products and take it
right back to the very first essence of its provenance. Where does it come from?
Where is it made from? Why is it made that way? And if you can ensure that that
whole supply chain is in balance, that’s a great place to start but likewise we
know that for a lot of people that’s not easy to do that’s actually quite
difficult so we don’t want to work, we also want to work with those
companies that are there already that’s a great place but likewise if you have an
aspiration to become one of those companies, to be one of those suppliers
then again please engage with us because part of Eden Project’s transformation
economically is to make sure sustainable businesses are the business that thrive
because this planet needs more sustainable businesses, more
businesses that are ethical, that really think about their supply chains. More
importantly be more businesses that are local, that connect with the communities
and through business and community we create this really strong fabric around
some projects that are catalytic and I guess that’s what I’d like to finish on. If Eden is an attitude, Eden is also means of saying we can be better
because the future is yet to be made and the future is ours, the future is
yours, it’s not Eden! We’ve done a Cornwall Eden Project, I’ve just come from Qingdao they’ve got their own vision for their project, be inspired to
think of your vision for your project for your business, for your community,
this isn’t an Eden Project in Morecambe, it’s Eden Project with Morecambe. I’m really
happy to take some questions… the final one before I finish is that we
mentioned that the motto for Morecambe was ‘beauty surrounds and health abounds’ the final thing I just like to share with you is the one thing we
are going to add and we really want to add for Morecambe, ‘it’s beauty
surrounds, health abounds and nature astounds’ because that for us is
what this place means, it’s an incredible place and we’re really happy to be
working with you! Thank you all so much!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *