THE revelation that the Eden Project had received hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money from Cornwall Council in the past three years drew a mixed response from Facebook users who commented on the Cornish Guardian's website.
Shauny Tofty wrote: "The bottom line here is that councillors are piling too much money into tourist-based enterprise at the expense of local taxpayers, and maintaining a fickle, low-paid, seasonal tourist economy that neither benefits local people that much nor helps to create long-term wealth for the local population. And why do they want to dredge Falmouth harbour? To accommodate cruise ships, It's the same old tired and unoriginal plan."
Jim Hamilton wrote: "These parks open up and then when they start attracting visitors at a good rate they up the prices and then cut back on what they offer, which in turn makes the numbers attending dwindle. Instead of these bosses trying to become millionaires overnight they need to put the money back into the business. Employ enough staff on decent wages who feel valued and offer it all at reasonable prices. This attracts the tourists and locals which in turn builds the attendance thus making the money required to run it at a profit. It's not rocket science."
Gill Baron wrote: "The only thing Cornwall has going for it is tourism. If the tourists stop coming, jobs will go, restaurants, B&B and holiday parks will close down. What else can the council do to keep the money coming into Cornwall?"
Amanda King wrote: "I love going to Eden, but council money would be better spent keeping public toilets open throughout Cornwall."
Elaine Venn wrote: "It's a shame. It is an amazing place and seeing it evolve has been exciting, but this is sad that it has to be propped up like this."
Julie Ogden wrote: "So wrong when services to children and elderly are being cut."
Jamie Chapman wrote: "This is a business and as such should stand up or fall as one, many locals cannot afford to go and yet find out that our taxes are keeping it afloat. Take note: if your business is failing for whatever reason, it's OK; Cornwall Council will help you too."
Eden founder Sir Tim Smit is backing ambitious plans for an £85 million dinosaur theme park on Dorset's Jurassic Coast: see page 6.