Credit: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 2018

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Dippy proves a smash hit in Birmingham following his record-breaking stay in Dorset

Dippy attracted 140,000 additional visitors to Birmingham’s city centre – these visitors ultimately spent £4.2m in the city.

Dippy proves a smash hit in Birmingham following his record-breaking stay in Dorset:

  • Over a quarter of a million people visited Dippy making it Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery’s (BMAG) most successful temporary exhibition
  • Dippy attracted 140,000 additional visitors to Birmingham’s city centre – these visitors ultimately spent £4.2m in the city
  • The success in Birmingham follows his record-breaking stay in Dorset where, earlier this year, he tripled the annual visitor numbers to Dorset County Museum in under three months

Birmingham was the second stop on the tour of the Natural History Museum’s iconic 26-metre-long Diplodocus cast. Never before on public display outside of London, Dippy is travelling the length and breadth of the UK from early 2018 to late 2020. His next stop is Ulster Museum in Belfast where he will be from 28 September to 6 January next year.

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG)

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure was in Birmingham from 26 May to 9 September. The impact the exhibition had on the city can now be revealed: over a quarter of a million people visited, with Dippy attracting over 140,000 additional visitors to Birmingham City Centre during its 107 day run.

Research conducted for Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery by Bluegrass Research also found that:

  • The exhibition attracted 140,203 additional visitors to Birmingham City Centre, who visited especially to see the exhibition, including 66,844 visitors from outside the West Midlands
  • These visitors ultimately spent £4.2million[1] in the city
  • Meanwhile the popularity of the exhibition helped to boost BMAG’s overall visitor figures, with the museum attracting more than double the amount of visitors than during the same period last year
  • The record-breaking exhibition is BMAG’s most successful ever temporary exhibition with 255,548 visitors from 26 May - 9 September 2018
  • Research shows that the direct economic impact of these visitors on the city is almost £1.7million[2], bringing additional spend to local businesses, shops, restaurants and hotels

65 volunteers supported Dippy on Tour in Birmingham, including volunteer curators’ assistants, communications and engagement assistants, and corporate volunteers, who dedicated nearly 2,000 hours of their time.

Dorset County Museum

In Dorset, more than 153,000 people visited Dippy at Dorset County Museum between 10 February and 7 May, exceeding the venue’s annual visitor figures in less than three months.

A comprehensive economic and social impact survey, undertaken by Dorset County Council and commissioned by Dorset County Museum found:

  • Local shops and cafes in particular reported a huge year on year increase in foot fall. Dippy’s visit resulted in an additional £2,250,000 boost to the local economy
  • The impact of this spend contributed to a further £1.1 million in added value to the local economy
  • In addition to the financial benefits, the report highlights how the community at large embraced Dippy the dinosaur’s stay with over 8,433 school children visiting the museum and over 200 new volunteers being recruited to oversee operations

The Natural History Museum’s Head of Exhibitions, Learning & Outreach Alex Burch says:

The success of the tour and the public response to Dippy has been staggering and means we are on course for meeting our aim of introducing Dippy to 1.5 million people! One of our biggest priorities at the Natural History Museum is making sure the riches of our national collection benefit communities right across the UK. Dippy’s tour is doing just that, and it has been made possible through the vision, ambition and collaboration of many partners – it is a great example of what can be achieved when regional and national institutions work together.”

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure has been brought about by the Natural History Museum, in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill. In Birmingham, the exhibition was supported by Paradise Birmingham and Friends of Birmingham Museums.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, says: “We are delighted that Dippy’s tour has enjoyed such a phenomenal impact on the regions he has visited so far. Dippy’s aim to inspire visitors to consider the wonders of our natural world is being realised and it is a wonderful way to celebrate our 60th year working in partnership with inspiring charities across the United Kingdom. We look forward to many more people enjoying Dippy as he moves across the UK.”

What’s Next

Dippy on Tour is on display at Ulster Museum in Belfast from 28th September 2018.

The tour takes in the following venues, in chronological order:

  • Dorset County Museum, 10 February - 7 May 2018
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 26 May - 9 September 2018
  • Ulster Museum, Belfast 28 September 2018 - 6 January 2019
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 22 January - 5 May 2019
  • Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 18 May - 6 October 2019
  • National Museum Cardiff, 19 October 2019 - 26 January 2020
  • Number One Riverside, Rochdale, 10 February - 28 June 2020
  • Norwich Cathedral, 11 July - 31 October 2020


Notes for editors

[1] Results from Bluegrass Research – Calculating the Economic Impact of ‘Dippy on Tour’ on Birmingham City Centre

[2] Results from Bluegrass Research – Calculating the Economic Impact of ‘Dippy on Tour’ on Birmingham City Centre

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery contact: Zoe Turton, PR Officer on 0121 348 8281/ 07868 204 711 or

Natural History Media contact: Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5654 / (0)779 969 0151 or

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum exists to inspire a love of the natural world and unlock answers to the big issues facing humanity and the planet. It is a world-leading science research centre, and through its unique collection and unrivalled expertise it is tackling issues such as food security, eradicating diseases and managing resource scarcity.

The Natural History Museum is the most visited natural history museum in Europe and the top science attraction in the UK; we welcome more than 4.5 million visitors each year and our website receives over 500,000 unique visitors a month. People come from around the world to enjoy our galleries and events and engage both in-person and online with our science and educational activities through innovative programmes such as citizen science and family festivals.

In partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation

Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2018, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded charitable grant-making foundation which supports causes across the UK with grants totalling over £60million each year. 2018 also marks its £1billionth donation since it was established. One of the largest and most respected charitable institutions in the UK, the Weston Family Trustees are descendants of the founder and they take a highly active and hands-on approach. The Foundation’s funding comes from an endowment of shares in the family business which includes Twinings, Primark, Kingsmill (all part of Associated British Foods Plc) and Fortnum & Mason amongst others - a successful model that still endures today; as the businesses have grown so too have the charitable donations. From small community organisations to large national institutions, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities and activities that make a positive impact in the communities in which they work. Over 1,500 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.

Tour Sponsors


Dell EMC, a part of Dell Technologies, enables organizations to modernize, automate and transform their data center using industry-leading converged infrastructure, servers, storage and data protection technologies. This provides a trusted foundation for businesses to transform IT, through the creation of a hybrid cloud, and transform their business through the creation of cloud-native applications and big data solutions. As a supplier of the Natural History Museum, Dell EMC technology has supported the work of its scientists for many years. Through Dippy on Tour, Dell EMC and the Natural History Museum have the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists and encourage them to engage with the natural world. The digital world has a huge role to play in this, and the web app Dippy’s Naturenauts created as part of this partnership, demonstrates the role online and mobile technology can play in encouraging people to explore the outside world.

Williams & Hill

Williams & Hill have built up a reputation for excellence by firmly establishing themselves as the leading ‘Specialised Transporter of Fine Art, Antiques, Design Furniture and Decorative Objects’. With a highly experienced team working for the world’s major galleries and exhibition venues – they have a true understanding of the requirements for methodical care, consideration and appreciation of whatever may be in their care. No two days are the same, and the excitement of working in their own ever changing art gallery never fades.

Tour venues and partners

  • Dorset County Museum is one of the leading independent, charitable, heritage organisations in the Southwest of England. It has a learned Society with 2000 members and receives over 47,000 visitors a year. Its diverse collections contain over 4 million objects including internationally significant geology, archaeology and literary collections. The Museum is a registered charity and operates independently with financial support from Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council. In May 2015 the Museum was awarded £11.3million from the Heritage Lottery Fund to enable an ambitious redevelopment project.
  • The Jurassic Coast was designated England’s only natural World Heritage Site in 2001. Day to day site Management of the Jurassic Coast is the work of the Jurassic Coast Trust, a small independent charity with a huge remit.  The Trust works to inspire people to love, understand and value the Jurassic Coast, and was instrumental in bringing Dippy down to Dorset in collaboration with the County Museum.
  • Birmingham Museums Trust is an independent charity that manages the city’s museum collection and venues on behalf of Birmingham City Council. It uses the collection of around 800,000 objects to provide a wide range of arts, cultural and historical experiences, events and activities that deliver accessible learning, creativity and enjoyment for citizens and visitors to the city. Attracting over one million visits a year, the Trust’s venues include Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle.
  • Come face to face with dinosaurs, meet an Ancient Egyptian Mummy and see modern masterpieces with a visit to the Ulster Museum. As Northern Ireland’s treasure house of the past and present, the museum is home to a rich collection of art, history and natural sciences and free to all visitors. The Ulster Museum, part of National Museums Northern Ireland, welcomes nearly half a million visitors annually.
  • Glasgow Life is the charity which runs services and facilities on behalf of Glasgow City Council. We work in every area of the city and with every community to try and inspire Glasgow’s citizens and visitors to lead richer and more active lives through culture, sport and learning. More than 18 million attendances were recorded to the facilities that we run across the city between 2015 and 2016. Glasgow Museums is the largest museum service in the UK outside London and operates nine easy to reach, accessible and family friendly venues across the city. We are open year-round and entry is free. Glasgow Museums house an extraordinary permanent collection of fine art, historic objects and natural history exhibited in some of Glasgow’s most stunning public buildings.
  • Great North Museum: Hancock is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on behalf of Newcastle University. The Museum brings together the North East’s premier collections of archaeology, natural history, geology and world cultures under one roof. It incorporates collections from the original Hancock Museum, Newcastle University’s former Museum of Antiquities and the Shefton Museum. The Great North Museum is a partnership between Newcastle University, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Newcastle City Council, the Natural History Society of Northumbria (NHSN) and the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle upon Tyne (SANT).
  • Situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre, National Museum Cardiff houses Wales’s national art, geology and natural history collections as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions. On the ground floor of the museum, take an amazing journey in The Evolution of Wales from the very beginnings of time to the present day. The story begins in space with the Big Bang and takes you on a 4,600 million-year journey, bringing you face to face with dinosaurs and woolly mammoths along the way. Witness Wales's diverse natural history on an expedition that begins at the seashore and ends in the mountains. Experience some of the unique environments that make Wales home to over 900 Sites of Special Scientific Interest. The art collection at National Museum Cardiff is one of Europe's finest and includes five hundred years of magnificent paintings, drawings, sculpture, silver and ceramics from Wales and across the world, including one of Europe's best collections of Impressionist art.
  • Rochdale Borough Council is a local authority in the North West of England which serves more than 200,000 residents. Sitting in the foothills of the Pennines and close to the major cities of Manchester and Leeds, the council is playing a key role in the Northern Powerhouse, and its priorities are people, place and prosperity. Link4Life is the Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust, delivering leisure and cultural provision across the Rochdale borough, including the award-winning arts and heritage centre, Touchstones Rochdale.
  • Norwich Cathedral is a Christian presence in the heart of Norfolk and the Diocese of Norwich. It began, over 900 years ago, as the Cathedral church of a Benedictine Monastery, built to inspire by its sheer size and magnificence. The Cathedral continues to fill today’s visitors with a sense of awe and wonder. The primary purpose of a Cathedral is to be a place of Christian worship. It was at the centre of the monastery and the focus of the monks’ most important work, the worship of God. Norwich Cathedral is also the focus of both city and county life. As well as playing host to special civic and legal services, it is also a venue for concerts, talks, exhibitions, degree ceremonies and other community events.