Lancaster and District Chamber of Commerce held its annual Spring business lunch last week at the Morecambe Football Club, a member of the Chamber. The lunch had a record attendance of over 200 people who came along to hear from guest speakers, Si Bellamy from the Eden Project, and Daragh Carville, author of The Bay, the hit ITV series currently being screened.
In his opening poem, Alistair Eagles, the Chamber President, praised the local area by noting it was changing for the better and that we should all promote the area as one, work together with a positive outlook, and celebrate business by working in new ways and bringing the community together. It was now our time to stand out uniquely and as a great example to the rest of the UK - the future is ours to create.
Daragh Carville, in a short Question and Answer session, said 7.4 million people had viewed the first episode of The Bay. It filmed in Morecambe because Morecambe Bay has never had a series filmed about it, and the producer had fond memories of time spent in Morecambe when she was younger. The producer immediately jumped at the idea. Research has shown that TV series filmed in an area can lead to a short to medium term increase in tourism. With Eden looming ever closer it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase all our beautiful natural assets.
Si Bellamy then presented to the packed room the vision for Eden North Morecambe. Costing approximately £84 million, the team hope to have plans in by early 2020 with an estimated starting date of late 2020, and a two-year build schedule. As per Eden’s ethos, they want to have approximately an 80% local supply chain, but it must be of the best quality. The Morecambe site will be unique and all based around the old Morecambe slogan “Health Abounds and Beauty Surrounds”, in conjunction with the natural beauty of the bay and the fact it is a RAMSAR site – the international Convention on Wetlands which is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Also, the bay is an SSSI – a Site of Special Scientific Interest. (You can view the full video presentation from Si Bellamy here https://youtu.be/T1Jh5kmSGSE
Vicky Lofthouse, Chief Executive of the Chamber, said our growing membership is testament to the faith that people in the local business community are showing the area. In the last few years, our membership has been showing an impressive year-on-year growth, and events like these help to showcase our District.
“It goes hand in hand with all the other work we are doing for our members and the District. Last week we were in London in a delegation consisting of Lancaster City Council and Lancaster University meeting with the Lancaster and Fleetwood MP, Cat Smith, and the HS2 Minister, Nusrat Ghani, and officials from the Department of Transport. We were down there to put our case for a Lancaster HS2 stop should Phase 2 go ahead. This is vitally important for the whole District, and the Lake District.”
Almost £1,000 was raised for the President’s chosen charity, the Lancaster and District Homeless Action Service.
Photography by Nick Dagger Photography.
Photo: (L to R) Vicky Lofthouse, CEO of The Chamber, Si Bellamy, Eden Project, Daragh Carville, author of The Bay; Alistair Eagles, President of the Chamber and CEO of Seatruck Ferries; and Em Critchley, Eden Project