Nottingham City Council seeks to approve a decision to bring an authentic full size T-Rex specimen to Wollaton Hall & Deer Park.
The executive decision published by the council is to seek approval to enter into a contract for hire of an authentic T-Rex specimen for an exhibition at Wollaton Hall, from July 2021 for a 14 month period.
With currently no full size T-Rex specimens on display anywhere in the United Kingdom, T-Rex specimens are popular dinosaurs in the public imagination. They are found only on the North American continent and are seldom displayed outside of the USA and Canada for any length of time.
The exhibition will display a real full-size T-Rex and that will fill Wollaton Hall’s Willoughby Room at 4m tall, 11m in length.
The proposal includes a £180,000 ACE Culture Recovery Grant awarded to cover all upfront costs, including the development and fabrication of the T-Rex exhibition.
Preliminary designs for the exhibition have been developed to ensure that compliance with social distancing practice and the exhibition will set out a one-way system with 2m markers.
The exhibition itself will be largely digital in partnership with the University of Nottingham. Throughout the exhibition there will be a programme of events and activities in the park, the museum and the University of Nottingham, which will include family events, symposiums, talks and tours.
Innovative digital/virtual media interactives will immerse the visitor in its world, along with hands-on replicas of his skeleton enabling visitors to handle bones millions of years old.
Visit Britain is currently citing a downturn of 49% on the internal tourism market as a result of COVID-19. The proposed exhibit of such a very rare specimen will build on the tremendous economic benefit that accrued from the Dinosaurs of China exhibit that took place at the Hall in 2017.
Similarly to Dinosaurs of China, to cover the full cost of the project there would be an admission fee into Wollaton Hall during the run of the exhibition which is from July 2021 to August 2022. Ticket prices are aimed to engage a wide audience so are kept at a nominal fee.
The arrival of the specimen will be of interest for the citizens of Nottingham and will play a key role in revitalising the City’s tourism economy. Combined with the re-opening of Nottingham Castle and city-wide cultural activity, it will play a central role in the cultural tourism offer.
The council aims to achieve a minimum of 300,000 visitors over the course of the exhibition as this equates to 410 visitors per day which is achievable with social distancing in place.
In the event of further waves of the pandemic, provision within the contract will allow the exhibition to be put on hold or terminated without penalty.
The arrival of a T-rex exhibition is currently pending a decision within Nottingham City Council.
For any visitors interested to be kept up to date on exhibition announcements, visit Wollaton Hall’s website www.wollatonhall.org.uk, to sign up to the Wollaton Hall & Deer Park newsletter and receive direct updates.