Dinosaur Isle: Unrivalled tourism offer planned as part of major project, says council leader

Residents in Sandown have been waiting a long time to hear what will be happening with Dinosaur Isle and the land occupied by Brown’s Golf Course and Artecology’s studio

Dinosaur Isle on a summer day with two people walking in front of it

Residents in Sandown are no closer to knowing what the future holds for Dinosaur Isle, despite it being discussed during last night’s Isle of Wight council (IWC) meeting (catch up here).

How many partners involved with bids?
The meeting began with a public question from Paul Coueslant of Sandown Hub. He asked,

“Following the reply to my question PQ 49/19 to the Leader of the Council about the Dinosaur Isle procurement process, please can he explain how many prospective partners remain involved and the latest status of the Council’s dialogue with them?”

Stewart: Potential consortia
Without revealing how many partners are involved, Cllr Dave Stewart (Con) replied,

“Following the publication of the invitation to tender, known as the ITT, the Council has been in dialogue as part of its procurement process.

“This is currently with potential consortias [sic] and it is hoped that the dialogue will shortly lead to a timetable being agreed for its conclusion.”

Major project in final stages
However, Cllr Stewart went on to add a little more context during the presentation of his report to the full council. He told the meeting that the procurement process for Dinosaur Isle was in the final stages.

Cllr Stewart said this “major project” would include huge range of facilities to attract visitors to the Island.

Stewart: An unrivalled tourism offer
Adding that it had “attracted interest from significant private sector partners”, who were now involved in the procurement process, he said,

“If it comes to fruition we will have an unrivalled tourism offer right in the heart of the Bay coastal community area, boosting the economy of Sandown, Lake, Shanklin and beyond.”

Ward: “Nebulous ideas” fill vacuum
Cllr Ian Ward (Con), IW councillor for Sandown South, said,

“Residents need to see clear movement, when there’s a vacuum people become impatient and will try to fill it with nebulous ideas, that may disrupt this important project.

Referring to Cllr Andre’s vision for an Eden Project Community in the Bay, he asked for reassurance that IWC “will not be relying on popular statements from members across the chamber” and that “actual steps are underway on this project”.

Cllr Stewart confirmed that steps are underway in the procurement process, and they are seeking to complete it in timely manner.

“Assets are precious and people expect projects to be delivered on time and in budget.”

Eden project vision
Cllr Stewart noted the vision that had been presented by Cllr Andre (Island Indie Group) for an Eden Project.

He acknowledged it was ambitious, and encouraged her to work with the heritage lead member (Cllr Hastings) to see what practical opportunities can be added to the existing project work with ARC Consulting and the Biosphere Centre at Branstone as part of the Dinosaur Isle project.

Image: jpennycook under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 21st January, 2021 1:14pm


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Filed under: Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Sandown, Top story

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9 Comments on "Dinosaur Isle: Unrivalled tourism offer planned as part of major project, says council leader"

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It’s a shame that the councillors can’t speak plain english or answer a simple question without resorting to the council’s jargon phrasebook. The only nebulous ideas tend to come from the councillors themselves and Councillor Ward is an expert in this.

The Council knows that if Dinosaur Isle is taken over by a tourism company rather than by an academic body, it will lose its hard-won academic statuses. Has the Council tried hard enough to find a university or other academic institution to run this museum, or is it solely intent on maximising profits by selling it as part of a package with surrounding land? Has the Council… Read more »

Does this ‘unrivalled tourism offer’ herald the death knell of Brown’s as as a family pitch ‘n’ putt course ? If so, another of the Isle’s gentle pleasures will be sacrificed to the god of Mammon.

Benny C

If the island economy thinks Browns is what today’s visitors want we have no chance. It personifies the outdated unappealing presentation and investment starved approach that has made Shanklin and Sandown the shabby shadows of their former selves. Sorry but things have moved on. Sink or swim. Browns will sink for sure. It’s already under water.

Angela Hewitt

PPS. Each Company should be allowed to make a visual presentation. At the moment it looks like a behind closed door deal

Angela Hewitt

PS all options, there must be at least three. Should be made public. Procurement can with-hold the various amounts offered. But the proposals should be made public.

Angela Hewitt

What I want to know is will they chose the deal that ensures and enhances the integrity of the site or the one that pays the most money. Surely the local community should be involved in the decision.


so how many houses will they think they can get in there ?


So apparently it is German based company who operate dinosaur theme parks who want they to creat a large theme park of that type there. It would be a significant capital spend and create a lot of jobs.