Eco-centre bids to be discussed

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DONCASTER Council will meet behind closed doors next week to discuss the future of the Earth Centre.

The £55 million site has attracted a lot of attention from bidders since the council put it up on the market before Christmas because it was spending £200,000 a year to maintain the 55-acre disused space.

One bidder, called The Rapid Technology Transfer Group, wants to invest around £12 million into the site in a bid to turn the former visitor attraction into a green science, technology and engineering park with its own university education and training programmes.

However, the consortium behind the planned development, to be named Life Park, could move its eco-friendly plans to Peterborough if the council rejects the proposal, said its chairman Bill Robertson.

Mr Robertson said its plans for the ‘multiversity’ would bring in more jobs and boost the economy of Denaby Main, Conisbrough and surrounding areas in the borough.

The former visitor attraction’s future will be discussed by councillors at the next cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

A council spokesman said: “The council should be in a position to comment further shortly after that date.”

The Earth Centre - billed as a “green” theme park - opened in 1999 but closed five years later after failing to attract visitors.