On reading the answers from a similar question earlier i still cannot retrieve my project.
I last used this project in June and obviously something went wrong when saving or creating the new layer that i did. I tried to restore is to a previous state and there doesn't appear to be one even after refreshing.
I now try to open the QGIS file and i get "project file read error: unexpected end of file at line 9957 column 1 for file"
I ended up creating a new QGIS project and copying the SHP files over, discarding the layer that i played with before!