Pictured is East Devon District Council Leader Cllr Paul Diviani with the award, surrounded by officers, consultants and contractors who worked on the project.

‘Fun project’ say Michelmores Property Awards judges

Seaton Jurassic, East Devon District Council’s flagship visitor attraction, has scooped a major South West award for the best leisure and hospitality project of the year.

The £4-million centre, at the heart of the world-renowned Jurassic Coast, was described by judges of the prestigious Michelmores Property Awards as “simply just a fun project”. Owned by the council and operated by Devon Wildlife Trust, the judges were particularly complimentary about how involved the community was in the centre and that partnership working was key to the attraction’s success.

East Devon District Council has put more than £2 million into the exciting project which has attracted thousands of visitors since it opened in Spring 2016.

The attraction is completely unique as it takes people on an interactive journey back 250 million years to when life on the Jurassic Coast looked very different.  Along the way, visitors are given an experience like no other where they take flight on the centre’s very own time-ship, get to experience life in a local rockpool, meet a time-travelling ghost and witness the evolution of life on earth.

Seaton Jurassic, which also received substantial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and others, has already won a clutch of honours gaining second place in the ‘Best UK Day-out for Families’ category at the annual Family Traveller Awards and a silver award for ‘Sustainable Tourism’ in the prestigious Visit Devon Tourism Awards.

The council put forward the Seaton project for the Michelmores Property Award which showcases and celebrates the very best of the region’s projects, buildings and businesses. It was shortlisted alongside three other high quality developments.

Councillor Paul Diviani, Leader of East Devon District Council, who accepted the award at a ceremony recently said:

We are delighted to take home the award for Leisure & Hospitality Project of the Year. The planning and development of Seaton Jurassic has been a ten year process, with many challenges along the way, but we are immensely proud of the team effort involved in the finished result, and the response to the centre from the whole community.

Seaton Jurassic is a shining example of partnership working between the council, Devon Wildlife Trust, Devon County and Seaton Town Councils, Seaton Visitor Centre Trust, the Jurassic Coast World heritage team and the many other funders who believed in this flagship centre for the town.

Devon Wildlife Trust’s Chief Executive Officer, Harry Barton, said:

I am really proud that Devon Wildlife Trust is part of such an inspiring project.  This award is a fitting tribute to the huge amount of effort put in by the whole community over more than a decade.