Tim Smit

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Tim Smit (born 1954) is a Netherlands-born British businessman, famous for his work on the 'Lost Gardens of Heligan' and the Eden Project, both in Cornwall, England.



Born in Scheveningen, he was educated at Vinehall School[1], East Sussex and Cranbrook School, Kent, in England, and studied archaeology and anthropology at Durham. He worked as an archaeologist before taking an unexpected leap into the music business, working as both a song-writer and producer receiving seven platinum and gold discs. Contrary to many reports he was not a 'millionaire record producer'. He had modest success in Europe with an album called 'Midnight Blue - a Project with Louise Tucker'. Other than that, he was jobbing record producer / songwriter / arranger.

In 1987 he moved with his family to Cornwall and became involved with Rob Poole, John Nelson and Heligan. During his time at Heligan, Smit wrote a popular book about the project.

Later he started the Eden Project, near St Austell, an £80 million initiative to build two transparent biomes in an old china clay pit near the village of Bodelva. The biomes contain different eco-climates; rainforest and Mediterranean. The outside area is also described as a biome and features areas such as "Wild Cornwall". Eden aims to educate people about environmental matters and encourages a greater understanding and empathy with these matters. Smit was mainly involved in raising the needed funds; the site design was by Nicholas Grimshaw.

He was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2002 New Years Honours List and awarded the Kilgerran Award of the Foundation for Science and Technology in 2003.[2][3] In 2006 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Design degree by the University of the West of England "in recognition of his outstanding achievements in promoting the understanding and practise of the responsible management of the vital relationship between plants, people and resources, which have made a major contribution regionally, nationally and internationally to sustainable development, tourism, architecture and landscape architecture".

As a highly innovative and successful businessperson, Smit has been outspoken in his views on issues such as social enterprise and entrepreneurship. In a 2008 interview, he said:

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