Seaton Tramway is excited to announce the successful purchase of the Seaton Jurassic building, marking a significant milestone in the Tramways's 54-year history and introducing a new attraction to East Devon.
The acquisition, finalised on January 5, 2024, paves the way for the launch of the new and innovative 'Jurassic Discovery’ Centre.
Set to open in the Spring of 2024, Jurassic Discovery will initially welcome visitors with a family-friendly café and a soft play area designed for children aged 1-12, which will be a welcome return to East Devon, as Pecorama sold their soft play to Seaton Tramway in 2021. By the Summer of 2024, the centre will unveil an immersive dinosaur exhibition, featuring state-of-the-art animatronic exhibits from the Natural History Museum.
Following the unanimous decision by East Devon District Council (EDDC) to agree to the freehold disposal of the Jurassic Centre to Seaton Tramway, the centre, which closed in September 2021, is set for a reopening in Spring 2024. This new attraction will bring a significant boost to the local economy and community, creating numerous job opportunities.
Jenny Nunn, CEO of Seaton Tramway, expressed her enthusiasm:
“The council's decision marks a new era for Seaton and its visitors. Jurassic Discovery isn’t just an attraction; it's a leap into the world of dinosaurs and prehistoric life. Our plans include a Dino-themed soft play area for the young explorers and a cutting-edge visitor experience that narrates the story of dinosaurs, their extinction, and their connection to our current environmental challenges. We are committed to creating an engaging, educational, and entertaining space that resonates with all age groups.”
Councillor Paul Arnott, Leader of East Devon District Council, added:
“Handing over the keys to Seaton Tramway, and a fresh start for the stewardship of this crucial attraction, is a great privilege. I’d like to take this last opportunity to thank the many volunteers who gave their all to the centre before, and I’m sure they'll join me in wishing Jenny and her team the very best for the future. The Jurassic Discovery Centre could not now be in better hands."
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Climate Change and Environment, said:
“Well done to all involved in helping this purchase to go ahead. The building is a great asset to the town and I'm looking forward to Seaton Tramway breathing new life into it. Their plans to get the centre up and running sound excellent and it's right that the unique heritage of the Jurassic coast should be recognised with an educational and fun attraction like this. I wish Seaton Tramway every success with its Jurassic Discovery venture. I've no doubt it will be popular and will prove to be an important addition to Seaton."
Councillor Marcus Hartnell, Councillor Derek Haggerty, and Councillor Dan Ledger, East Devon District Council Ward Members for Seaton, said:
"We are delighted that Seaton Tramway will take ownership of the former Seaton Jurassic and reopen it as an exciting new attraction in 2024 that both locals and visitors can enjoy. Whilst it has taken time to get to this point, we have always wanted to ensure that the future of the building remained as a tourist attraction, raising awareness of our natural environment, boosting the local economy, and creating jobs. We wish Seaton Tramway the best of luck with their new venture."
Jurassic Discovery will promote the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, exploring 65 million years and 95 miles of history. Seaton and its surrounding areas host a range of stories and fossil finds and the new attraction will bring them to an audience of all ages.
Seaton Tramway will continue its success of becoming a unique destination for schools and educational groups and will now include Jurassic Discovery within its offer. New learning and activity sessions are being developed with all key stage groups in mind and will explore subjects like Evolution, Geology, Climate Change and Mass Extinctions.
Seaton Tramway recently won the Large Attraction of the Year Award, Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award, Tourism Event of the Year Award and Experience of the Year Award at the Devon Tourism Awards in November. The team at Seaton Tramway plan to bring the same award-winning magic to the new attraction.
The new Jurassic Discovery promises to be more than just an attraction; it's set to be a hub of education, community involvement, and environmental consciousness, discovering the past while enlightening the present.
You can keep up to date with all news and developments regarding the new attraction at www.jurassicdiscovery.co.uk