A NORTH-EAST woman is calling on a big name entrepreneur to step forward and save one of the region’s most unusual attractions.

Lily Zaher, from Middlesbrough, was left shocked and dismayed when the town’s Nature’s World attraction closed its gates in January after suffering funding issues.

Mrs Zaher – who held a season ticket for the attraction – is now launching a campaign to see it re-opened and is appealing to generous benefactors to come forward and support the project.

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She said: “I am looking for a few key figures to support the situation and highlight it.

"I’m trying to appeal to anyone, individuals or business owners who could take over and offer funding to improve the site and reopen it. It can be anybody who would take care of it for the community.

“If communities and businesses got behind us to try and get it off the ground again, it would be great.

"Nature’s World could really do with the help, it was an important part of the community and it is a real shame to lose it. There is nothing else like it locally.”

The pioneering eco-project was the only one of its kind in the region and featured many eco-friendly attractions, including a £2m tropical greenhouse, eco-centre and a hydroponicum facility where plants were grown without soil.

The facility, which hosted thousands of visitors a year and was also home to several small businesses, was forced to close due to funding issues. The site and its assets have now been passed to Middlesbrough Council.

A spokesman from the council said it would be undertaking a detailed assessment of the site to consider the social need and its future use.

He also confirmed that there was a “desire to see, under new ownership, the continuance of an environmental visitors centre and educational facility from the site.”

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