The North East economy has seen a £1 million boost thanks to a dinosaur.

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the region, including Teesside,  flocked to Newcastle to see Dippy on Tour at the Great North Museum: Hancock over the last few months.

The exhibit, a 292 skeletal cast of a diplodocus, is on tour from the Natural History Museum in London.

206 schools brought over 10,000 school kids to facilitated trips, and ten schools saw banners they had created displayed alongside the dinosaur.

The museum had a 51% increase in visitors, which makes Dippy the most popular Temporary Exhibit since the opening in 2009 and has seen a massive cash boost to the region’s economy.

Dippy the Dinosaur, pride of place, in the Great North Museum: Hancock.

Caroline Mcdonald, Manager at The Great North Museum, said: “It has been an incredible few months for us. Undoubtedly, Dippy has had an enormously positive effect on the museum, with attendance, donations, retail sales and catering sales all well up on target. We expect the benefit to the local economy to be upwards of £1 million.”

“Dippy has thrilled hundreds of thousands of visitors in the North East and been guest of honour at three weddings! We are sad to see him leave but know that his UK tour will continue in style at the National Museum Cardiff.”

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure –In Partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation– Is visiting 8 venues across the UK through 2018-2020. The next destination for the dinosaur is Wales, before he heads on to Rochdale and Norwich.

The aim of the tour is to reach 1.5 million people across the UK. Venues were chosen to engage an audience that otherwise might not visit the National History Museum in person.

Across the first five venues, the exhibition has seen 1.4 million visitors.

Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon, said: “We are thrilled that Dippy on Tour has brought record visitors to the Great North Museum: Hancock.”

“It was our hope that Dippy would help children discover the wonders of natural history and encourage a passion for science and nature so we are particularly delighted to hear that in Newcastle, with Dippy’s help, thousands of schoolchildren have learned about climate change and the problems our planet is facing right now.”

The skeleton will now be packed into 16 crates for its transition to Cardiff, in a special fleet of vehicles. The exhibition in Wales is the 6th in the series, and opens on Saturday October 19.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, Said: “We are absolutely delighted that Newcastle and the North East have embraced Dippy so enthusiastically and that his positive impact has been seen across the whole city.”

“We wish Dippy the very best at his next stop in Cardiff where we are certain he will continue to inspire the next generation to care for our natural world.”

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family founded, grant giving charity which supports causes around the UK from small community organisations to large national institutions.


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