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Major Tourist Attraction Eden Project In Cornwall To Axe Dozens Of Jobs

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EDEN PROJECT
The ecology park near St Austell needs to make £2m in cuts | PA

Dozens of jobs are under threat at one of the UK's most popular tourist attractions after it announced it had to make cuts worth £2 million.

Staff at the Eden Project near St Austell have been informed that up to 70 jobs could be lost at the former quarry site in Cornwall. A statutory consultation process is due to begin on Wednesday.

Eden has 445 full-time equivalent jobs, with the job losses planned across all areas of its operation, it confirmed this evening.

In a letter to all staff, Sir Tim Smit, Eden's chief executive and co-founder, said: "No sugar-coated pill will ease the anguish for those affected, all we can say to those of you who will be leaving is thank you so much for all you have given Eden and we hope you will depart feeling a great deal of pride in all you have achieved in creating a very special place, for now and for the future."

The attraction said a decline in visitor numbers had contributed to the cost-cutting measures being drawn up.

A statement released tonight said: "Far fewer visitors came to Cornwall in 2012 due to a combination of the Olympics, poor summer and autumn weather and the lasting effects of the recession.

"This, coupled with enormous pressure on income in the charity sector and the well-documented challenges of fundraising in the current economic climate have made it necessary to make substantial cuts to the cost base."

Recent years have seen the Eden Project diversify to offer a wider range of entertainment, including a temporary ice rink and the hugely popular Eden Session summer concerts, which last year featured the likes of Blink-182, Plan B, Tim Minchin and Noah and the Whale.

The xx, Sigur Ros and Eddie Izzard are all due to perform at open-air gigs at the venue this summer.

The venue, famed for its hexagonal-panelled biomes, has also attracted a succession of high-profile environmental guest speakers, including Energy Minister Ed Davey.