THIS new drawing by renowned architect Renzo Piano depicts the multi-million pound vision to build a subterranean geological tourist attraction on Portland to rival the Eden Project.
The Jurassica visitor attraction, which this week secured government backing to the tune of £300,000 to fund a feasibility study, would create hundreds of jobs and boost the local economy by millions.
It is earmarked for the old Yeolands Quarry.
Images, which include sketches and photographs of a 3D model, have been released ahead of a public meeting on Portland on Monday when plans will be discussed by the man behind the project, science journalist Michael Hanlon.
Jurassica aims to celebrate the unique geological heritage of the Jurassic Coast. It is still in its early stages but has received backing from businesses and high profile figures including Sir David Attenborough.
Italian architect Renzo Piano, whose projects included The Shard in London, leads the design team.
Described as being a third of the size of the Millennium Dome, Jurassica would be 35m deep, 100m wide and covered in a translucent domed glass and steel ‘web-like’ roof.
Visitors to the park could see fossilised dinosaurs, marine reptiles and plants, alongside robotic plesiosaurus and animatronics that will swim in an aquarium.
At next week’s meeting, visitors will be able to view a collection of drawings, visuals and a video of the proposed site, as well as 3D models.
Mr Hanlon said “I am fully aware that expectations are high, much speculation is in the air and that also, as yet, work has not commenced to build this extraordinary vision. This is a chance to say what has and has not been achieved, and what you can expect to see happening in the near future.
“We do not want an easy ride; far from it. Scepticism is healthy, difficult questions are the best ones to be asked. We want to hear what you have to say. This is your island, not mine, and above all else I want Jurassica to make Portland a better place.”
Everyone is welcome to the Jurassica community presentation which is on Monday, July 14 at 7pm at Girt Hall, St George’s Centre, Portland.