Just over two months ago staff and volunteers from the Dorset Museum were joined by hundreds of well-wishers to say farewell to Dippy the dinosaur, the famous Diplodocus cast. The largest, oldest and most popular visitor ever to have stayed at the Museum.
The true impact of Dippy’s stay can now be revealed. A comprehensive Economic and Social Impact survey, commissioned by The Dorset County Museum has just been completed; confirming that Dorset, and the South West, in general, went dippy for Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure.
Exceeding early projections, visitor’s numbers soon smashed all previous records and when the doors closed on 7 May 2018, the final count stood at 153,189 visitors.
The report also highlights that the impact was not restricted to just the Dorset County Museum. Whilst tickets to see Dippy were free, many visitors took the opportunity to visit, Dorchester.
Local shops and cafes, in particular, reported a huge year on year increase in footfall. The Diplodocus cast’s visit resulted in an additional £2,250,000 boost to the local economy. The impact of this spends 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.
“We hoped that Dippy on Tour; A Natural History Adventure would be a success, but we never imagined the legacy of his stay would be so far-reaching and make such a positive contribution to the cultural experiences of the local community.” Says Jon Murden, Director of the Dorset County Museum.
“The research and visitor feedback shows a real thirst for knowledge. Institutions such as ours that deliver real hands-on experiences are still hugely popular. Once our redevelopment work is complete in the summer of 2020, Dorset Museum will be equipped to host even bigger exhibitions with even larger audiences.”