Isle of Wight council start search for Dinosaur Isle ‘investment partner’ (Updated)

On Museum Day, the council say the process for finding an investment partner will include a ‘negotiation’ approach to “help maximise all opportunities” and will include more feasibility work on using council land next to the museum.

Dinosaur Isle

The formal search is set to get underway to find a long-term investment partner to secure and extend Dinosaur Isle at Sandown.

The move is designed to find vital extra funding and expertise to develop and expand the museum – while retaining accredited status and protecting its internationally-renowned collection.

The Isle of Wight Council also hopes new investment will act as a catalyst to revitalise the wider seafront area.

Protecting Dinosuar Isle’s future
Cabinet member for resources, Councillor Stuart Hutchinson, said,

“The move to find a partner will be an exciting step for Dinosaur Isle Museum, protecting its future, developing the facility long-term, and with the potential to help towards further regeneration of Culver Parade and the Bay area.”

A delegated decision recommendation by Councillor Hutchinson and Cabinet member for heritage, Councillor John Hobart, to begin the procurement process for an investment partner, was published today (Friday).

Bring the museum right up to date
Councillor Hutchinson said,

“We want to bring the museum right up to date, with new, exciting displays and the chance to expand and prosper.

“An investment partner will help us to do this and hopefully do much more for Sandown. Dinosaur Isle is 18 years old now and faces increasing maintenance and upgrade costs.”

Councillor Hobart said:

“Dinosaur Isle Museum is a centre of excellence for palaeontology of which we are extremely proud. It has an internationally-recognised collection, dedicated and respected staff who are supported by a much-valued friends’ group, and an important and wide-ranging educational role. We are determined to help it grow into the future.”

‘Negotiation’ approach
The process for finding an investment partner will include a ‘negotiation’ approach to help maximise all opportunities – and there will be more feasibility work on using council land next to the museum.

Councillor Hutchinson said,

“There is no doubt that delivering a long-term sustainable future for Dinosaur Isle is likely to need major capital investment and another party to help achieve this. At the heart of this is ensuring its future is preserved and that it can extend and develop along with the surrounding area.”


  • The freehold of Dinosaur Isle Museum is owned by the council.
  • The museum was built with money from the Millennium Fund in 2000.
  • A condition survey in 2017 identified that £850,000 was needed for maintenance works.
  • It is estimated up to £2 million would be needed to modernise the museum.
  • A ‘soft market’ testing exercise was held in October 2017 to provide initial information to interested parties.

Delegated decisions

Procurement Process Options Paper

Update 16:39 Added Dinosaur Isle and Sandown TOA – Procurement Process Options Paper

News by Isle of Wight council in their own words. Ed

Image: © Isle of Wight Council

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

3 Comments on "Isle of Wight council start search for Dinosaur Isle ‘investment partner’ (Updated)"

newest oldest most voted

Why only five options? There is a sixth that a number of other local authorities such as York, Hampshire, Brighton & Hove, have taken. They have established charitable trusts themselves to take on the responsibility of running their museums, art galleries, etc. Why has this option not been included in the report?


Lets hope the council can tie up any deal better than the Ice Rink or lack of it. State the simple things like it cant be closed and has to remain a centre of excellence for palaeontology and with some guidance on the entrance fee.

Looks as though the eco-warriors (Colonel-in-Chief: Cllr Sir John “Japanese Knotweed” de Vere Hobart) at IWC have already decided to turn half the Canoe Lake into a car park, which rather puts their other aspirations into context. The ex-Canoe Lake is now rich habitat for all manner of waterfowl, amphibians and small mammals, nearly as useful an asset as when it used to be a canoe lake!… Read more »