Sir Tim Smit is Executive Vice-Chairman and Co-founder of the Award winning Eden Project near St Austell in Cornwall. Eden began as a dream in 1995 and opened its doors to the public in 2000, since when more than 20 million people have come to see what was once a sterile pit turned into a cradle of life containing world-class horticulture and startling architecture symbolic of human endeavour.
Eden has contributed over £2 billion into the Cornish economy. It’s proud of its success in changing people’s perception of the potential for and the application of science, by communicating and interpreting scientific concepts through the use of art, drama and storytelling as well as living up to its mission to take a pivotal role in local regeneration.
It demonstrates once and for all that sustainability is not about sandals and nut cutlets, it is about good business practice and the citizenship values of the future.
In 1987, Sir Tim Smit moved to Cornwall where he and John Nelson together ‘discovered’ and then restored the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Tim remains a Director of the gardens to the present day. Prior to that, he read Archaeology and Anthropology at Durham University and worked for ten years in the music industry as rock music and opera composer/producer.
Now, Sir Tim Smit is a Trustee, Patron and Board Member of a number of statutory and voluntary bodies both locally and nationally. He has received a variety of national awards including The Royal Society of Arts Albert Medal (2003).
In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary CBE in the New Years Honours List and In January 2011 he was appointed an honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Her Majesty the Queen. This appointment was made substantive in June 2012 when he became a British Citizen. He has received Honorary Doctorates and Fellowships from a number of Universities.
Sir Tim was voted ‘Great Briton of 2007’ in the Environment category of the Morgan Stanley Great Britons Awards. In 2011 Tim was given a special award at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, which recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement.
Tim has taken part in many television and radio programmes and has been the subject of ‘This is Your Life’ and a guest on ‘Desert Island Discs’.
He is the author of books about both Heligan and Eden and he has contributed to publications on a wide variety of subjects. He lives in Cornwall and in his free time he enjoys reading, film, music and art.