Attractions industry news

10 Sep 2018

Revised plans for £20m 'The Journey' attraction to be submitted later this year

Revised plans will be submitted later this year for a long-awaited, underground visitor attraction on Dorset's Jurassic Coast.

Named 'The Journey', the £20m scheme will be located in the disused Albion Stone mines in Portland.

Exact details of the facilities are to be confirmed, but the attraction will focus on biodiversity and be based on a gallery-style visitor journey, mixing ancient stone carvings with virtual and augmented reality.

The new plans replace the original designs for a £80m (US$105.6m, €89.2m) subterranean geological park called Jurassica at the site, which were shelved last year. The original attraction – a subterranean geological park with a 'dinosaur theme' – was set to bring in 960,000 visitors annually and was scheduled to open by 2020.

It was backed and supported by Sir David Attenborough, the Eden Project's Sir Tim Smit and science writer Michael Hanlon. The project suffered a blow, however, when Hanlon died of a heart attack last year.

The new, revised development still has the backing of Sir Tim Smit and the Eden Project and will include elements of a biodiversity project called the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory (MEMO).

“The ambition for us all is to create something genuinely world class in the mines beneath Portland to present biodiversity, evolution and the art of seeing the world anew in the most theatrical and possibly the most appropriate setting on earth, the Jurassic Coast,” said Smit.

“It is our collective ambition too that this should be the catalyst to the creation of educational facilities that will, in turn, incubate opportunities for the island for years to come.”

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