An ambitious riverside cultural and environmental tourist attraction that will transform the banks of the River Foyle in Londonderry has been launched.
While no funding for the £67 million Eden Project Foyle has been secured, it is contained within the New Decade, New Approach deal that brought about the return of the Stormont Assembly and an opening date for 2023 has been set.
The project, developed by the Foyle River Gardens charity hopes to link the Boom Hall and Brook Hall estates giving public access to previously inaccessible land.
An artist’s impression of the proposed project centrepiece is a spectacular building inspired by Neolithic architecture and connected with a network of walkways along which will be walled gardens, tree-top and floating walkways, a water activity centre and play areas.
The project developers hope to secure funding through grants and loans which if successful will see construction begin within 18 months creating 170 jobs.
Speaking at the launch of the project, Sir Tim Smit, Co-founder of the Eden Project, said: “We are hugely excited to be working with the Foyle River Gardens in the creation of Eden Project Foyle and believe completely in its transformative capacity to draw visitors to the North West and become a global must-see destination.
“Having our project named by the Irish and UK Governments in their New Decade, New Approach document is a huge vote of confidence for the team and we are looking forward to working with our partners in Derry and Donegal to bring this project forward.”
A charitable trust, the Foyle River Gardens, will own the project which will be operated in partnership with the with the award winning environmental and educational charity the Eden Project.