Eden Project in Cornwall returns to trading surplus

Eden Project Pic: Lawrence Jones Image copyright Lawrence Jones
Image caption Eden opened in 2001 as a showcase for nature with its dome-shaped greenhouses, or biomes

Bosses at Cornwall's Eden Project are hoping they have turned a corner with the attraction back in the black after its worst-ever year.

Eden has told staff its new accounts, soon to be filed to Companies House, showed a trading surplus of just over £2m for the year to the end of March.

That compares with a loss of about £1.4m a year previously.

Visitor numbers have also increased, according to a spokesman for the project.

He said visitors for the first five months were "a couple of percent" higher than a year before, despite poor weather in the early part of 2014 and negative headlines about the Dawlish rail collapse, which cut off trains to Cornwall.

Eden, with its huge dome-shaped greenhouses, opened in 2001. In its first 10 years, it welcomed more than 13 million people.

But 2013 saw only 858,000 visitors - its lowest ever.

There has also been a focus on cost cutting with 68 staff redundancies during 2013/14.

One encouraging sign now is that spend per head by visitors has risen. Plans for the year ahead include a youth hostel on the site.

Finance director David Harland said: "These results show that Eden has turned the corner after a difficult year in which we had to make some very hard decisions.

"We have lost valuable staff in a painful restructure process but by cutting costs across the board we have ensured that the project is now on a very sound footing."

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