Dippy on display in Rochdale’s Riverside Number One building © Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London 


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Dino-star Dippy on the move again: Iconic Diplodocus cast to go on UK loan

The Natural History Museum is seeking a new partner to host their iconic Diplodocus cast, Dippy, for a long-term loan. It is hoped that such a partnership will replicate the benefits to UK regions and hosting venues seen by the recently concluded Dippy on Tour, which visited eight venues across the UK. 

Dippy’s appeal is well known, and throughout the tour, venues and regions that played host to the well-travelled Diplodocus cast began to report the ‘Dippy effect’. Every venue Dippy visited reported record-breaking visitor numbers, and a recently concluded report has suggested that Dippy on Tour resulted in an economic benefit of just under £36m across the eight regions.

Ahead of Dippy going on loan the dinosaur will be back at the Natural History Museum for a special temporary installation called Dippy Returns: The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur. The new installation, opening 27 May and running until 2 January 2023, will feature visitors’ reflections from when they met the Jurassic giant and how such meetings inspired them to re-connect with the precious nature on their doorsteps.

Dr Doug Gurr, Museum Director, said, ‘We have been blown away by the success of Dippy on Tour. We knew that Dippy was able to draw a crowd but for all venues to break visitor number records and see economic benefits within their regions to this level has exceeded our expectations.

‘Biodiversity is under threat and the planet is facing a crisis. Dippy has the ability to capture people’s imagination and spark an interest in the natural world. We hope that, wherever Dippy’s next adventure takes place, our dino-star will continue to engage people with nature and inspire them to protect it.

‘We are excited to be sharing our collection with a wider audience once again and encourage applications from venues across the UK.’  

People’s fascination with dinosaurs provides the ideal opportunity to inspire and inform the next generation about the natural world and empower them to act for the planet. Awe-inspiring giants, like Dippy, can entice people and especially children to science and help build understanding of critical concepts such as extinction, adaptation, biodiversity and deep time from a young age.

Dippy is available to host from 2023. The Museum is encouraging venues with an indoor space big enough to fit a Diplodocus to get in touch and tell us how Dippy would engage their audiences and potentially contribute to regeneration of their venue and region. Applicants do not have to be a traditional museum and requests from other publicly accessible spaces and institutes are welcomed, as would organisations applying in partnership.

Across the UK, over 2m people visited Dippy whilst on tour and the impact was seen everywhere. In Glasgow, Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery received over 643,000 visitors whilst Dippy was in residence and an economic uplift of £15.38m to the local economy. One of the more unusual venues of the tour was Rochdale’s Number One Riverside, a multipurpose council building, which worked with Touchstones, a local museum, to create a multi-site experience. Despite hosting Dippy during the worst of the pandemic’s restrictions, they still welcomed over 165,000 visitors and reported a £1.86m uplift to the local economy.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said, ‘There is no question that Dippy is one of the most celebrated icons of the natural world and it's clear that people's love for prehistoric creatures isn’t facing extinction any time soon. Up and down the country, record numbers have been flocking to venues to see Dippy – driving a huge boost to the local economy at every calling point throughout the tour.

‘World-class culture should be accessible to all and this is an amazing opportunity for museums and organisations across the UK to put themselves forward to host this roar-some dino-star. Get applying now!’

Dippy Returns: The nation’s favourite dinosaur is running at the Natural History Museum from 27 May - December 2022; you can register to be the first to hear about tickets here. The successful venue would then host Dippy from 2023. Venues can apply now to host Dippy here.

Notes to editors

Natural History Media contact: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654 / 07799690151 Email: press@nhm.ac.uk  

A summary of the economic impact report of Dippy on Tour is available here.

Images of Dippy available to download here.

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.