Dippy in Norwich Cathedral © Bill Smith / Norwich Cathedral

 

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World-famous dinosaur cast to return to the Natural History Museum after smash hit UK-wide tour enjoyed by over two million people

  • Dippy to return home to Natural History Museum from summer through to Christmas 2022
  • Over 2 million people have visited Dippy on Tour in eight venues across every corner of the UK
  • Record-breaking visitor numbers and socio-economic benefits seen across locations 

After a journey taking in eight different venues and more than 2 million visitors since beginning in February 2018, Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure is coming to an end on 30 October 2021 and the nation’s favourite dinosaur will be returning to the Natural History Museum in summer 2022 for an exciting new temporary installation.

The free to visit installation planned to run from Summer 2022 through to Christmas the same year will celebrate the achievements of the tour and the venues that hosted Dippy on Tour, as well as give people the opportunity to see Dippy in its full glory, back at its original home, the Natural History Museum in London.

Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, said: ‘Our awe-inspiring goliath, Dippy, has smashed visitor records at every venue visited and brought a range of social and economic benefits to the surrounding communities.

‘Along with the joy of reaching new swathes of the UK population, the tour has aimed to highlight the importance of tackling the current planetary emergency, educating and inspiring visitors to explore the nature on their own doorsteps and become advocates for the planet.

‘It is also with huge excitement we announce Dippy’s return to the Natural History Museum for a special temporary installation to open in 2022. This will give people the chance to see the nation’s favourite dinosaur in full splendour in South Kensington once again.’

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure was brought to visitors across the UK by the Natural History Museum in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, said: ‘The Garfield Weston Foundation supported Dippy on Tour to inspire regions across the UK to discover the nature on their doorstep and foster a new found respect for the natural world. We are absolutely delighted that the impact of Dippy has been felt across the nation.’

During the tour, Dippy has visited every country in the UK, spending time in Dorchester, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne, Cardiff, Rochdale, and Norwich, where he is currently installed in Norwich Cathedral – the first cathedral ever to host the 26-metre-long Diplodocus cast.

Arts Minister Lord Parkinson said: ‘For the last four years Dippy has been wowing audiences across all four corners of the UK. On his travels, he has helped to bring record numbers to museums across the country, boosted local economies and inspired a new generation of visitors.

‘Projects like this are so important to make sure our national collections can be seen and enjoyed by people wherever they live, so I congratulate the Natural History Museum for managing Dippy's successful UK-wide tour.’

Across the eight venues, Dippy on Tour has had over 2 million visitors, far outstripping the initial goal of 1.5 million set at the start of the tour. Individual venues have also reported huge demand, in the wake of what was dubbed the “Dippy effect” by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) after Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery attracted 140,000 additional visitors to Birmingham’s city centre while hosting Dippy, with these visitors ultimately spending £4.2 million in the city.

At Dorset County Museum, yearly visitor numbers tripled in under three months with Dippy being seen by 153,189 people, providing a £2.25 million boost to the local economy. Belfast’s Ulster Museum reported their highest number of visitors ever for an exhibition in a single day (4,200) and received 131,902 visitors overall during Dippy’s visit to Northern Ireland.

In Glasgow, Dippy on Tour was the most successful temporary exhibition in over a decade. Newcastle also saw a boost of 51% in visitor numbers on average, with 304,928 people visiting the exhibition. At the National Museum Cardiff, 213,740 visitors came to marvel at the well-travelled Diplodocus cast, an increase of 42% on average when compared with the previous year.

At Rochdale 80% of surveyed visitors had never seen Dippy before, and 94% visited the venues specifically to see Dippy, demonstrating the value of the tour in reaching new audiences. While Norwich’s exhibition has not yet finished, they have already reported their most successful summer ever.

The Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: ‘It has been a real honour for Norwich Cathedral to be part of Dippy on Tour and we are absolutely delighted to have welcomed more than 200,000 visitors to see Dippy during his stay at Norwich Cathedral.

‘People of all ages have been truly inspired by the incredible sight of Dippy standing in the Cathedral’s medieval Nave. Dippy has brought so much fun and he has also encouraged people to have many important conversations about the future of our planet.

‘As we prepare to say goodbye to our magnificent prehistoric guest this weekend, all are welcome to join us for our final week celebrations, including the wonderful Dippy at Night illuminations which are continuing on Thursday to Saturday this week and our farewell service with Norwich Cathedral Choir which will take place on Sunday.’

Further details of Dippy’s return to the Natural History Museum will be announced in the coming months. In the meantime there are just a couple of days left to visit Dippy at Norwich Cathedral where the nationwide tour concludes on Saturday 30 October. 

Notes to editors

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

Images and video available to download here.

The Dippy on Tour daytime exhibition opening hours at Norwich Cathedral this week are 10am-4pm Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 October and 9.30am-5.30pm on Saturday 30 October.

Dippy at Night is open 7pm-9.30pm from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 October. The free evening light spectacular will see the famous Diplodocus cast lit up in an entirely new way in the Nave of Norwich Cathedral, meanwhile the Cathedral’s West Front and Norwich Castle are also being illuminated in Dippy’s honour.

A special Dippy Farewell Service with Norwich Cathedral Choir will also take place at Norwich Cathedral on Sunday 31 October at 3.30pm.

Media are welcome to attend all of the above events and exhibition opening times. For more information, please contact Norwich Cathedral’s marketing and communications manager Emma Knights via eknights@cathedral.org.uk or 07968 460963.

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.

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 setting for concerts, talks, exhibitions, degree ceremonies and other community events.

Dippy on Tour

In partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation

Established over 60 years ago in 1958, the Garfield Weston Foundation is a family-founded, grant-making charity which supports causes across the UK and, in the most recent financial year, gave over £98million as the Trustees were highly conscious of the challenges presented by Covid-19 to the charitable sector. Since it was established, it has exceeded donations of more than £1billion, of which well over half has been given in the past ten years.

 

One of the 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.

 

Known for its transparency, flexibility and straightforward approach, the Foundation supports a broad range of charities from small community organisations to large national institutions. Around 2,000 charities across the UK benefit each year from the Foundation’s grants.

 

Tour Sponsors

DELL EMC

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. williamsandhill.com

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. dorsetcountymuseum.org

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.