Growth Deal funding up to £1,000,000
Funding awarded to MEMO
Local Growth Funding has been allocated to develop a unique tourist attraction in a mine on Portland.
Eden Portland brings together the visions of two world-class attraction projects that had been planned for Portland for some time - MEMO (Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory) and Jurassica.
In partnership with Eden Project International Limited it aims to transform and regenerate exhausted quarry and mine workings to create a world-class visitor destination for Portland.
It is estimated that the project will attract 320,000 visitors a year and create 130 jobs.
The attraction will be located in spectacular tunnels excavated by Albion Stone in Jordan's Mine, which is nearing the end of its industrial life. There will be nearly a linear kilometre of underground 'gallery' space. Inside this labyrinth of tunnels, visitors will explore the dramatic history of life on earth.
A design team has now been appointed, including international award winning virtual reality and visual effects artists. Work is on schedule for the submission of a planning application in late autumn 2018.
Simultaneously, following the example of the Eden Project in Cornwall, the project will spearhead the economic revival of the island which has remained a persistent pocket of coastal deprivation with high incidence of NEETS among 16-24 year olds.
Eden Portland is partnership between MEMO, Albion Stone (mining experts and main contractor) and the Eden Project (content development and site operator). The project has also recieved financial support from Dorset County Council, Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, philanthropist Sue Lyons, and The Valentine Trust.
MEMO is an educational charity whose mission is to inspire wonder in the planet’s biodiversity, both past and present, as a way to engage the public in biodiversity loss.