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Dorset's £80m Jurassica attraction 'worth £20m' to local economy annually

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The £80m (US$121m, €104.4m) Jurassica dinosaur attraction proposed inside a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK, could generate £20m (US$30.3m, €26.1m) for the local economy every year, according to the charity behind the planned attraction.

If the plans go ahead, the attraction is estimated to bring in 960,000 visitors annually. The subterranean geological park – backed and supported by Sir David Attenborough, the Eden Project's Sir Tim Smit and science writer Michael Hanlon – could be ready by 2020, creating more than 150 permanent positions.

“Jurassica has the ability to capture people's imagination and is a powerful concept. Funders are individuals and businesses who love the idea, or who see the potential for Dorset, the county where they live and work,” said Hanlon.

“There is a substantial market in China for Jurassica, for example. (Nearby) Portland receives more than 22,000 international cruise ship visitors a year, and growing – hardly any of which stay in Dorset, let alone Portland. It’s a huge untapped market.

"Jurassica will bring jobs and put Dorset on the global map; a real focus that will drive tourism upwards and pour more than £20m into the county’s businesses every year."

As part of the plans, the 40m (132ft) deep Yeolands quarry will feature a 340ft (103.6m) glass roof – with designs by Renzo Piano, whose architectural practice, RPBW, designed London’s Shard – and will house robot swimming plesiosaurs, fossils and interactive displays.

Engineering and design firm Arup is involved in the project, along with business management consultancy Oliver Wyman, as well as exhibit designers David Lazenby and Azeurus Design.

The project will focus on sustainability and incorporate solar panels, which would generate enough electricity for the entire site. The building has been designed to be 'more or less invisible'.

In November, the charity put in a first round funding bid for £16m (US$24.2m, €20.9m) in Heritage Lottery Funding. The outcome of the bid is expected in April. Further funding is being sought privately.

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The £80m (US$121m, €104.4m) Jurassica dinosaur attraction proposed inside a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK, could generate £20m (US$30.3m, €26.1m) for the local economy every year, according to the charity behind the planned attraction.
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Jurassica will house robot swimming plesiosaurs / Azureus Design Ltd

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