Link4Life and Rochdale Borough Council have secured more than £90,000 of National Lottery funding to help them deliver a fun-packed programme of activities and events to accompany Dippy the dinosaur’s visit to Rochdale in 2020.
'Rochdale will host Dippy the dinosaur from Monday, 10 February to Sunday, 28 June 2020'
The Natural History Museum’s world famous exhibit is currently on a tour of 8 different venues across the country, with Rochdale set to be its only North West stop. The council’s customer service centre, library and office building, Number One Riverside, was selected as the preferred location in the region following a competitive bidding process, which saw more than 90 venues from across the country bid to host the famous dinosaur. Dippy will be wowing visitors to Rochdale from Monday, 10 February to Sunday, 28 June 2020.
Plans by the council and Link4Life to get everybody going dino mad have got off to a roaring start, with some of the money set to be used to appoint a part-time community officer and part-time education officer to help both organisations create a full activity programme.
'£90,100 will be used to appoint education and engagement officers and create an exhibition at Touchstones'
The £90,100 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant will also help create an exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale, so visitors can continue their natural history adventure after they have seen Dippy at Number One Riverside.
The exhibition, which will focus on the natural heritage of Rochdale and how the landscape has changed over time, will include augmented and virtual reality and will be put together with support from experts from the Natural History Museum in London and the University of Manchester.
The education officer will also work with the council’s education team to develop teaching packs for different key stages and engagement opportunities for young with special educational needs, to ensure that everybody can take part in this unique opportunity.
Councillor Janet Emsley, the cabinet member for neighbourhoods, community and culture at the council, with responsibility for Link4Life, said: “Having a world class exhibit like Dippy, which has been seen and loved by children across the globe, right here in Rochdale is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our borough. That’s why we want it to be so much more than just a fantastic thing to marvel at.
“We intend to put on a full programme of activities during Dippy’s stay to get children and grown ups alike really passionate about science and the natural world and this stage 1 pass from HLF is a really important first step in helping us make that happen.”
'Other projects which will be piloted include a seed planting programme to create a ‘corridor of bees’ in the borough'
The money will also help Link4Life and the council pilot a number of activities which they intend to run during Dippy’s stay. These include a seed planting programme to create a ‘corridor of bees’ in the borough. The aim of this is to teach young people about biodiversity and understand the impact Rochdale’s industrial heritage has had on its natural environment.
'Rochdale Borough Council and Link4Life would are seeking business sponsors to support Dippy on Tour'
Link4Life and Rochdale Borough Council are expected to submit a stage 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in March 2019, with up to £159,000 of additional funding available to help deliver the activity programme, if the bid is successful.
Rochdale Borough Council and Link4Life are also seeking sponsorship from businesses to help make the North West leg of Dippy on Tour a huge success.