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Old 25th May 2005   #1
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I thought this might be of interest to some of you peeps... Have you ever heard of the EDEN project? (If not take a look at NIRAH is gonig to be the same sort of thing... But its going to be huge costing a woaping £260 million pounds! It will include 30,000 species of fish, amphibians and reptiles.

This is a section out of the Bedfordshire magazine:

The link to this page:$bcc_P8_9/$file/bcc_P8_9.pdf

Travelling up from London by train one cannot help but notice the brick pits just outside of Bedford. Seeing the crane at work extracting clay it is hard to imagine the exciting future which awaits this pit, but perhaps the term exciting is an under-estimation as this is set to be the site of the World’s largest aquaria.

“This is a fantastic project for Bedfordshire. It will become one of the UK’s major tourist attractions whilst bringing around 350 jobs to the area and generating thousands elsewhere in the county.”

Tim Malynn, Bedfordshire County Council’s Strategic Director for Environment

After months of detailed negotiations the National Institute for Research into Aquatic Habitats (NIRAH) Projects Board chose Bedfordshire as the location for its new research and visitor centre.

The NIRAH Project will transform the disused brick pits near Stewartby into a 40 hectare freshwater aquarium and international research centre. It is expected that the site, which will be even bigger than the Eden Project in Cornwall, will attract around two million visitors each year and focus on a broad range of scientific research projects. The research will not involve animal testing, be non-invasive and based on already tested and published procedures.

The County Council is offering its full support to the NIRAH Project, which will give a multimillion pound boost to the local economy by creating up to 1,700 new jobs, increasing tourism and spending both at the Centre and also across the County. Visitors from all over the world will want to stay locally, sample Bedfordshire’s hotels, eating places, shops and other attractions. Bedfordshire will be seen as a tourism destination both nationally and internationally. The facilities available at NIRAH will also bring opportunities for our colleges and universities to introduce new training programmes, and growth opportunities for local businesses.

The £260 million centre will consist of two hemisphere-style domes containing more than 200 exhibits and 30,000 species of fish, amphibians and reptiles in re-created lakes, lagoons, rivers and rainforest. The site will also include a visitor centre, retail outlets, a hotel, education facilities and a state-of-the-art research laboratory. The complex, which is to be designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, who was responsible for the Eden Project, is the brainchild of an international team of biologists and conservationists.

The Bedfordshire Consortium of Bedfordshire County Council, Bedford Borough Council, Mid Bedfordshire District Council and the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) fought off strong competition from Liverpool and South Wales to secure the bid for the County. The NIRAH board felt that Bedfordshire had the advantage in terms of catchment areas for potential visitors, transport infrastructure and links to the scientific community and world renowned academic institutions.

The news about the project was welcomed by Lord Rooker, Minister of State at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, who said “this is great news for the people of Bedford. This project will boost prospects for the whole region and bring jobs and visitors to stimulate the economy. Bedford is a key area set to benefit from the Government’s £38 billion Sustainable Communities Plan to provide high quality new homes, new jobs and a quality environment.”

This project is not that far up the road fro me and i hope to beable to visit it while they are putting it together Click the image to open in full size. Take a look at its website.. Though there isnt much detail on it at the moment.. They dont even seem to have a date for when they are expected to start/finish the building of it

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Old 25th May 2005   #2
Andrew Tillson-Willis
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Rep: pollywog has shown reliable knowledgepollywog has shown reliable knowledge

If everything goes according to plan the complex will be completed in 2010.

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Old 25th May 2005   #3
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wow, i had heard about this, but i'd forgotten, i can't wait till 2010!!! there better be some caudates!

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Old 26th May 2005   #4
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Congratulations! Our Shedd Aquarium here in Chicago turns 75 years old this summer. In the last few years most of the improvements have been towards building biotope exhibits, so that fish are put into their environmental contexts. So now we have scads of lizards, snakes, tree frogs and birds in the new South American wing. I've yet to see a caudate, though. Click the image to open in full size.

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aquatic, habitats, institute, national, nirah, project, research

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