Plan to replicate Eden project around the world

After years of rejecting international suitors, plan to open number of like-minded ventures around the world

After years of rejecting international suitors, the Eden Project, one of Britain's best-loved tourist attractions, is planning to open a number of like-minded ventures around the world.

Tim Smit, chief executive and founder of the Cornwall landmark, has had discussions with parties interested in developing Eden projects in Japan, San Francisco, Singapore and two Gulf states. He hopes that work could begin in one of these before the end of the year.

He said he had turned down previous approaches because people simply wanted to replicate the Eden Project, with its famous biodomes and vast gardens, overseas. The change of heart had initially been prompted by discussions with an Arab country three years ago.

He insisted that the foreign Eden projects would emphasise differences rather than similarities, distinguishing the brand from the usual concept of franchises, and said such an approach could lead to new centres that were similar only in name and philosophy. "They wouldn't necessarily be botanical," he said. "It might not have a lid, it's about an attitude rather than architecture."

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Haroon Siddique

The GuardianTramp

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