Natural History Museum looking for Dippy partner - Museums Association

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Natural History Museum looking for Dippy partner

Iconic Diplodocus cast will be available on long-term loan from 2023
Staff preparing Dippy for its residence at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Staff preparing Dippy for its residence at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

London’s Natural History Museum (NHM) is looking for a partner to host Dippy on a long-term loan.

The museum wants this new partnership to replicate the benefits of Dippy on Tour, which saw the Diplodocus cast visit eight UK venues in 2018-21. NHM said that every venue that hosted Dippy reported record-breaking visitor numbers, while a recent report concluded that the tour resulted in an economic benefit of just under £36m across the eight regions.

“‘We have been blown away by the success of Dippy on Tour,” NHM director Doug Gurr said. “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,” Gurr continued. “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.”

Dippy is available to host from 2023. The NHM is encouraging venues with an indoor space big enough to fit a Diplodocus to get in touch and tell it 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 will be welcomed, as will organisations applying in partnership.

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When Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum hosted the cast as part of Dippy on Tour, it received more than 643,000 visitors during the residence and an economic uplift of £15.38m to the local economy. 

Other venues that hosted Dippy included Rochdale’s Number One Riverside, a multipurpose council building that 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 more than 165,000 visitors and reported a £1.86m uplift to the local economy.

Venues interested in hosting Dippy can apply here. The deadline for applications is 15 July.

Ahead of Dippy going on loan the dinosaur will be back at the NHM for a temporary installation called Dippy Returns: the Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur. This display, which opens on 27 May and runs until December, will feature visitors’ reflections from when they met the Jurassic giant and how such encounters inspired them to reconnect with the nature on their doorsteps.

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