The team behind a proposed £80million prehistoric-themed attraction in Dorset designed by Renzo Piano has vowed to fight after failing to win Heritage Lottery Funding (HLF)
The Jurassica backers said they would reapply for the £16 million of funding and had no plans to scale down the massive project.
The prehistoric-themed attraction, earmarked for a former limestone quarry on the Isle of Portland, is the brainchild of science writer Michael Hanlon and aims to provide a new education and tourist focus for the Jurassic Coast.
The ‘ambitious’ scheme, which is backed by Eden Centre mastermind Tim Smit and David Attenborough, will recreate the Jurassic landscape beneath a transparent glass roof supported from the quarry walls.
A spokesperson for the project said: ‘The project is now continuing into development without an HLF development grant.
‘At some point our intention to reapply as we firmly believe the Heritage Lottery is a strong and appropriate partner for such a significant heritage project as Jurassica.
‘There is no desire or need to scale the project down, it is, and we remain, ambitious - that’s part of the attraction.’
They added: ‘At £16 million, public funds from HLF were always only part of our funding strategy for a project costing some £80 million. We have applied to and will apply to scientific trusts and other grant-giving bodies both in the UK and overseas, and have already attracted financial support from business and HNWI based locally and nationally’.
Michael Hanlon, Jurassica’s chief executive officer on working with Renzo Piano
‘In the early days of Jurassica, I was advised to “find a world-class architect’. After doing this, “all else will become much easier”. A hard ask, as I knew few architects, and certainly none who operated on the world stage. Then, after a series of serendipitous events, I met Renzo.
‘He and his team, especially Jack Carter, with whom I have worked closely on the design, have been extraordinary partners to work with. Warm, friendly, ridiculously talented and hyper-professional this firm has thrown its considerable weight behind the project. From a series of rough, literally back-of-envelope sketches, Renzo Piano Building Workshop has created a vision of beauty and elegance. I cannot imagine a better company to do business with.’
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