Although Dippy currently lives in the Natural History Museum in London, Sefton Council, along with Ykids and the operators of the Strand shopping centre in Bootle, have submitted an expression of interest to host Dippy for up to three years.
If successful, the diplodocus cast will move to the community space at the Strand in Bootle, where residents and visitors will be able to learn about climate change and biodiversity loss both worldwide and at a local level.
Alongside Dippy, a new education and visitor centre will offer a programme of activities, centred around Sefton’s environmental challenges. Visitors will be able to dig for fossils in a giant sandpit, explore a Sefton Coast timeline, experience interactive educational exhibits and participate in workshops.
Dippy wouldn’t be Sefton’s only link to the prehistoric, though. Along the Formby coast, footprints of the humans that lived on the coast as long ago as 6000BC can be found. The prints, which have been exposed by tidal erosion, offer a unique insight into the prehistoric life of the area.
Dippy’s temporary home in Bootle, as outlined by the expression of interest, will support the ongoing regeneration and recovery as part of the wider transformation of Bootle town centre. This would be just one of many exciting initiatives and projects, led by both Sefton Council and a range of partners, to breathe new life into Bootle and surrounding areas. It will build on the ongoing commitment of local voluntary groups to nurture the green spaces across the Borough and highlight Sefton’s own natural history, from the prehistoric development of our coastline to the environment challenges of the present day.
If approved by the Natural History Museum, Dippy will attract his loyal fans, bringing visitors from all over the country to Bootle. He will be a positive attraction for the region, bringing economic benefits to the area.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for Bootle which promises to bring focus and new visitors to an area of our Borough that has been hit hard recently.
“Dippy the dinosaur is an incredibly popular attraction at the Natural History Museum, and I’m pleased to support the expression of interest that has been put forward today. The Council and YKids would be very keen to welcome the Natural History Museum and its evaluation team to Bootle, to meet our communities and to see the space and the impact that this could have on our town centre.
“Sefton’s coastline has a rich history and Dippy would find himself at home in our local area.”
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:
“Dippy the dinosaur would be a very welcome guest in our community.
“If our expression of interest is successful, I have no doubt that Dippy would become an extremely popular attraction and a great way for people of all ages to learn more about our local area.
“Our coastlines are rich with history and Dippy would help to bring that history to life.”
Claire Morgans from Ykids said:
“To be able to bring Dippy to Bootle would be a unique and exciting opportunity to teach children and young people in Sefton, and across the Liverpool City Region, all about the prehistoric history of our beautiful borough, and to engage them in a learning experience that might otherwise not be accessible to them. We’re confident we have put forward a strong case to host Dippy in Bootle, and we’re thrilled to be a part of this fantastic opportunity.”
Shortlisting will take place at the start of August and Dippy will move into his new home in January 2023.