A new East Devon visitor attraction is celebrating a successful 2016 – its first year of opening
Owned by East Devon District Council and operated by the charity Devon Wildlife Trust, Seaton Jurassic first opened its doors to the paying public in April. Since then it has welcomed more than 40,000 visitors to its unique visitor experience, café and shop.
The success of Seaton Jurassic hasn’t gone unnoticed. The attraction, which takes visitors on a journey back through time to a Jurassic World of lost creatures and ancient ancestors, gained second place in the ‘Best UK Day-out for Families’ category at the annual Family Traveller Awards. It was also awarded a silver award for ‘Sustainable Tourism’ in the prestigious Visit Devon Tourism Awards.
In its first year Seaton Jurassic also drew the attention of national media with The Guardian newspaper describing it as “educational entertainment at its best”. The opening of the attraction in the spring was also the catalyst for Seaton’s first ever official royal visit, with HRH the Princess Royal cutting its opening ribbon in the company of children from Seaton Primary School.
Speaking for the operators Devon Wildlife Trust, Steve Hussey says:
It’s been a busy first year for Seaton Jurassic. We’ve been very pleased with how this major visitor attraction has been received. It’s true to say that Seaton Jurassic offers visitors an experience like no other along the Jurassic Coast, and people seem to have taken to it.
Opening something new and different means we’ve had to learn as we go. This has meant changing how we do some things including giving our café menu a seasonal make-over, and improving others such as the look of our gift shop.
One thing that has remained unchanging is the wonderful support we receive from our volunteers – local people who give up their time each week to help make this ambitious venture a success.
Cllr Philip Skinner, Economy portfolio holder for East Devon District Council, says that the council is proud of its £1.9m investment in the Seaton project.
We are delighted that Seaton Jurassic is as popular as we all thought it would be, and we have received excellent feedback from visitors who enjoy the unique experience that it offers.
Seaton is now reaping the benefits of its location at the heart of the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site as this new facility has meant more jobs for the town, more visitors and a boost to the economy, both locally and in wider East Devon too. Long may it continue!
Seaton Jurassic is open every day during the first week of the Christmas school holidays, from Saturday 17th to Friday 23rd December, 11am to 4pm (last entry 3pm). It is then taking a short winter break before it re-opens at half- term, Saturday 11th February to Sunday 19th February 2017.
Devon Wildlife Trust’s Steve Hussey says:
We’re looking forward to 2017 and have some big plans for special events and offers. Keep an eye open for these and other news on the Seaton Jurassic website.