Seaton’s long-held dream of having its own visitor attraction at the heart of the world-renowned Jurassic Coast is paying dividends as Seaton Jurassic has just won another accolade to add to a clutch of other awards.
The £4.4m visitor centre, which is set just a stone’s throw from the seafront and is owned by East Devon District Council, has just won the prestigious Michelmores Property Awards for the best leisure and hospitality project of the year. Judges described it as “simply just a fun project”.
The attraction has not gone unnoticed in the number of awards it has won since it opened in March last year. It gained second place in the ‘Best UK Day-out for Families’ category at the annual Family Traveller Awards and 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 the national media with The Guardian newspaper describing it as “educational entertainment at its best”.
A visitor centre for the town was first put forward 17 years ago – just a year before the Jurassic Coast was designated a World Heritage Site in 2001. Volunteers from the Seaton Visitor Centre Trust worked tirelessly to drive the project forward and the group never lost sight of what they wanted to achieve.
The attraction is run by Devon Wildlife Trust and in its first nine months of operating, it attracted 40,000 visitors.
The unique project 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.
The attraction has been funded by East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Heritage Lottery Fund, Coastal Communities Fund, Seaton Town Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Fine Family Foundation, Seaton Visitor Centre Trust, Blue Marine Foundation, Jurassic Coast Trust and Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team as well as a community fundraising effort.
Entry costs £8 for adults and £5 for children, with family tickets priced at £18. The entry fee covers return visits for a year. Further details about making a visit to Seaton Jurassic can be found at www.seatonjurassic.org