Plans have been revealed to transform Dinosaur Isle Museum into The British Dinosaur Centre, a major national visitor attraction that will form part of the regeneration of Sandown and be a centrepiece of the Isle of Wight’s international profile.
The Isle of Wight Council has announced that it is seeking a long-term partner to take on the management and development of Dinosaur Isle Museum and contribute to the regeneration of Sandown Bay.
The British Dinosaur Trust
A new charitable organisation, the British Dinosaur Trust, is now being formed to take on this challenge.
Image: © Nick Chase
The Trust has received support from many local groups including the Friends of Dinosaur Isle and Hampshire Cultural Trust.
Retain collections in public ownership
The Trust aims to keep Dinosaur Isle’s remarkable collection of genuine Isle of Wight dinosaur skeletons and other fossil collections in public ownership and make sure they stay on the Island on permanent display.
The Trust also wants to substantially expand Dinosaur Isle to tell the whole story of all the many dinosaurs that have been found in Britain and display the many new finds made by Island collectors since the museum opened.
The British Dinosaur Centre will also contribute to the education of local students through increased interaction with schools and universities.
Dinosaur-related theme park
The Trust are now in talks with a major European company about the potential to establish a dinosaur-related theme park around the museum.
Dr Jeremy Lockwood, chair of the new Trust and Island resident, said:
“We welcome the council’s announcement about the future of Dinosaur Isle Museum. Britain is where dinosaurs were first found and were first named, and they have now been found in many places in Britain, but nowhere in Britain do we tell that story. The Isle of Wight is the perfect place to do this.
“New types of dinosaurs are still being found here, our Island is the most prolific dinosaur site in Europe, and the Isle of Wight is renowned by scientists as one of the most important dinosaur sites in the world.
“That is why there should be a British Dinosaur Centre and why it should be here.”
Article by Dr Jeremy Lockwood on behalf of the British Dinosaur Trust. Ed