Eden Project Foyle launch plans to transform Derry’s waterfront
Plans for a £67 million project to transform the banks of the River Foyle have been unveiled.
Eden Project Foyle is a cultural and environmental tourist attraction developed by the Foyle River Gardens charity.
The ambitious plan will link the Boom Hall and Brook Hall estates and give the public access to previously inaccessible land.
Eden Project International and Foyle River Gardens estimate that the project will cost £67m and will open in summer 2023.
It is hoped that construction work will begin in the next 18 months.
Eden Project Foyle is expected to directly create more than 170 jobs onsite and support a further 2,057 jobs locally from off-site visitor spend.
Those behind the plans estimate that it will inject £62m into the regional economy every year.
New artist’s impressions of the proposed project, including the centrepiece called ‘The Acorn,’ have been released.
Inside this building there are plans for a performance area and play spaces.
The structure would be nestled within the trees and inspired by the forest, with a timber and thatch construction which is light, efficient and low-carbon.
Visitors would be able to walk on the roof of the building and take zip wires down to surrounding walkways.
The development intends to rejuvenate the site extending from the Foyle Bridge towards Culmore Point and plans for it include walled gardens, tree-top and floating walkways, a water activity centre and play areas. The 100-hectare (250-acre) site includes 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) of the River Foyle’s bank.
The project will be owned by and operated for the benefit of the community.
A charitable trust, the Foyle River Gardens, will own the project and it will be operated in partnership with the with the award winning environmental and educational charity the Eden Project.
The project was included in the recent New Decade, New Approach deal on restoring powersharing to the Northern Ireland Executive.
Eamonn Deane, Chair of the Foyle River Gardens charity, said: “Eden Project Foyle brings together a network of local partners and supporters from universities, businesses, statutory and social organisations to address issues which affect each of us. The relationship with the Eden Project has been built up over the last three years and we are delighted to be able to move this project forward together.”
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.”