The Eden Project attracted more than one million visitors last year and continues to make a profit, its annual report has revealed.
The environmental charity released its annual report which showed that not only Eden is making money but it continues to grow.
The St Austell charity said it had had “another encouraging year”.
According to its accounts for 2016/17, the Eden Project registered a ‘trading cash surplus’ of £1.65million, which although down from the previous year’s £1.82million, was a fourth successive year that it had recorded a significant profit.
Earlier this year, Eden Project unveiled its rope bridge that gives visitors access to the top of the canopy inside the rainforest biome.
For the year ended March 31, turnover grew by more than £1.8million to £22.6million.
The number of visitors to the Eden Project last year surpassed the one million mark for the first time since 2011.
During 2016 Eden attracted 1,000,363 visitors, a four per cent rise on the previous year, making it the third year in succession that numbers have increased.
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This means that nearly 19million people have visited Eden since it first opened in a former china clay quarry on March 17, 2001. Since then it has contributed more than £1.7billion to the regional economy.
The charity’s annual report showed also that there was continued growth in numbers for Eden degree programmes, with 100 students now studying on-site, in partnership with Cornwall College and Plymouth University.
The organisation has also expanded its team with the arrival of a number of new staff at all levels, in particular the appointment of Dr Mike Maunder as director of life sciences and Peter Wroe as finance director.
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The first apprentices graduated from Eden’s rolling two-year programmes, some of whom have joined the permanent team.
Nearly 50,000 children visited the Cornwall site with their schools and the year also saw the launch of Little Eden, an outdoor club for under-fives.
In the Rainforest Biome, the Rainforest Canopy Walkway was extended, featuring the new Weather Maker exhibit.
Eden also received planning permission for the updated design of a 109-bedroom hotel on site.
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In 2016 the eighth annual Big Lunch, the Eden-led project, was attended by 7.3million people nationwide, including Royal Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and HRH The Prince of Wales.
Eden’s plans for a new 109-bedroom hotel on site.
A set of on-site social prescribing initiatives were launched, including those tacking social isolation, COPD and other health issues.
Eden’s finance director, Peter Wroe, said: “It has been another encouraging year, with good results in terms of our trading surplus, turnover and visitor numbers, all of which have helped us make significant investments in the team and our site.”
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He said that the project would continue to invest in the Eden site in Cornwall.
Future investment include the construction of a £3million permanent exhibit called Invisible Worlds, which will explore the world beyond the senses.
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Source: Cornwall Live