Nirah rejects loan
The development team behind the plans to create the world's largest freshwater aquarium and research facility has rejected a loan to prevent the project being aborted.
According to a report from the BBC, Bedfordshire County Council offered to loan an additional 300,000 to the National Institute for Research into Aquatic Habitats (Nirah) project on top of the 3m it has already lent.
However, the BBC says that the Nirah Holdings Ltd board unanimously rejected the loan describing it as a "red-tape bound offer" which was asking the project to change its business plan.
Now, the Nirah development team is appealing to the public to help provide the money which is needed to finish the work on its planning application.
The BBC reported that Bedford Mayor, Frank Branston, a long term supporter of the Nirah project, said: "This is the last chance for us to bring this fantastic science, conservation and leisure project, complete with thousands of jobs and millions of pounds to the area."
A Founders' Appeal marquee will be promoting the project at this weekend's River Festival in Bedford which hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend.
The domed complex is due to be built in a disused brick pit in Stewartby, Bedfordshire, and is four times the size of Cornwall's Eden Project.
If built, it will house the world's largest freshwater aquarium and provide a unique opportunity for researchers to work on a range of species.
The NIRAH project is due to bring increased revenue from the tourism industry to Bedfordshire and the UK and could provide up to 2500 jobs.