New 115-bed hotel planned for the Eden Project

The Eden Project has unveiled plans for a £6 million hotel to provide 115-bedroom accommodation on its site at Bodelva near St Austell in Cornwall.

Plans have been submitted to Cornwall Council for the new building which has been designed to blend into the countryside and have high standards of accessibility, energy-efficiency and sustainability. If the application is successful, Eden says that the new development would create around 25 new jobs.

Eden has monitored its direct economic impact on the region from its beginnings and research shows that the 16 million people who have visited since it opened in 2001 have spent at least £1.6 billion within Cornwall, contributing greatly to the wider economy.

The hotel, Eden says, would be a great asset in sustaining business all year round and unlocking the potential of the wider estate beyond the world-famous Biomes.

Eden Executive Director David Harland said: “Establishing accommodation on-site has been an aspiration for Eden since it began and we are now in a strong position to make this a reality.

“The proposed hotel is intended to support Eden’s activities, its educational aspirations, its existing and future conference events, weddings, and the annual Eden Sessions series of concerts.

“Many of these events require visitors to arrive the previous evening and then remain on site until the next day or day after. This new accommodation would enable us to meet their expectations and secure Eden’s identity as a conferencing and events venue.”

The position of the mid-range hotel has been chosen to be both accessible to the main Eden site and close to the perimeter of Eden’s outer estate.

There would be no provision for any catering in the building. This is deliberate as the proposal is for sleep accommodation only, allowing the guests to access facilities on the main Eden site.

The hotel, which would be funded by the private sector, is designed on simple lines. The timber-clad structure would be similar in style to Eden’s Foundation Building which sits outside of the main visitor area.

The hotel is designed to support existing projects and partners and also future developments on site, not just for the Eden.

These include the Building Research Establishment’s National Solar Centre and Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust’s Green Build Hub. The hotel would enable them to offer residential courses to support their own training ambitions.

David Harland added: “Projects such as the Green Build Hub and The BRE National Solar Centre are an additional dimension to Eden’s sustainability offering and demonstrate that Eden is becoming a true centre of expertise that more people will want to come and explore.

“Having this cluster of projects and joined-up approach allows visitors from all over the world to come to one area, reducing travel to separate locations.

“Both the Green Build Hub and National Solar Centre will be bringing sustainable building technologies and solar energy to the forefront of the visitor experience and a sustainable hotel that supports the philosophy of all parties is an obvious opportunity to support these aspirations.”

Eden recently opened its doors to the new YHA hostel after the closure of the YHA hostel at nearby Golant. The new hostel is primarily aimed at the many school groups who visit the site.

Eden is currently in discussion with a number of potential partners regarding the management of the proposed hotel.