The Isle of Wight Council’s leader has called plans for the regeneration of Dinosaur Isle a ‘Disneyland opportunity’, with the potential for a brand new theme park to open on the Isle of Wight in just 2 years’ time.
It has been revealed that the proposals for the Sandown seafront site are being scaled-up and will cost an investor ‘significantly more’ than £33million and potentially opening as soon as Spring 2023.
Speaking at Thursday night’s cabinet meeting, Councillor Dave Stewart said it was a fantastic opportunity for the Island, which he described as a ‘Disneyland opportunity for a dinosaur park’. He said:
“A lot of people have an affinity to this location … if all works well, we can see some great success in a town that needs and deserves regeneration”.
Talks have been underway between the Council and 1 bidder, who has not been named, to find someone to invest in the dinosaur museum near Yaverland. Island Echo understands this bidder to be the team behind Europe’s Dinosauria Park, which the Isle of Wight Council paid over £1,500 to recently.
However, it has been suggested the current proposals do not go far enough and that more could be done to make the attraction a success.
The plans for the site have not been made public, but Councillor Wayne Whittle, cabinet member for regeneration and business development, said they would put the attraction on a ‘different level’ in terms of national and international significance and would ‘go way beyond’ what the Isle of Wight Council initially asked for. He said the local authority is trying to achieve the best possible outcomes for an exciting and significant investment, while maintaining Dinosaur Isle’s collection of dinosaur finds.
It was agreed by the cabinet to review the current tender proposals and see what more could be done.
Council officers will report back to leading cabinet members as early as June.