Sir Tim's new role at Eden 'will help to strengthen' its future
The financially-troubled Eden Project is to split into two separate organisations as it attempts to "strengthen" the operation.
Co-founder Sir Tim Smit has stood down from the role of chief executive just a few months after the iconic attraction went to the Government for a bail-out.
Sir Tim, the public face of the ecological showpiece since 2001, is said to be taking a step back from day-to-day running and will instead take on a new role leading a new development unit, Eden Regeneration.
The creative agency will focus on the creation of new "ground-breaking" projects, separate from the management of the struggling visitor destination.
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In a joint statement released to the Western Morning News, Sir Tim and Judith Donovan, chairman of Eden Project Ltd, said clear definition between the destination and the start-up innovation would help Eden to "drive forward in a difficult economy to the next stage of development".
"We have decided that formally recognising the different needs of development and operations provides a powerful statement of our future ambition," the statement said.
"The two companies will work very closely together and retain some directors in common to underline the fact, but the split enables each of them to strengthen their performance and governance by bringing in new experienced non-executive directors.
"Idea development and business start-up require different skills and attitudes to risk and finance than does operating an established organisation and we recognise that having two companies enables us to have the best of both worlds."
The transformation of an old China clay pit near St Austell into an eco-paradise of artificial biomes housing plants from all around the world achieved enormous success.
However, visitor numbers were down last year and in March it applied for funding from a £100 million state reserve set aside for extreme circumstances.
Earlier this year the environmental centre was deciding how to axe 70 jobs as part of £2million worth of cuts across "all areas of its operation".
In February last year, it confirmed it was to make up to 35 staff redundant after losses of almost £2million in 2010-2011.
Just over a week ago, executive director Gaynor Coley, said she was to leave Eden in the autumn to join the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as director of public programmes.