Dinosaur-sized impact - A quarter of a million Dippy visitors spent £4.2m in Birmingham


  • Dippy on Tour has left Birmingham, but the phenomenal impact the exhibition had on the city can now be revealed.
  • Over a quarter of a million people visited Dippy on Tour spending £4.2million in the city.
  • Dippy attracted over 140,000 additional visitors to Birmingham City Centre.

Dippy has left Birmingham, but the huge impact of the exhibition has now been revealed. Over a quarter of a million people visited Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG), spending £4.2million in the city[1] during its 107 day run.

The record-breaking exhibition is BMAG’s most successful ever temporary exhibition with 255,548 visitors from 26 May - 9 September 2018. Research shows that the direct economic impact of these visitors on the city is almost £1.7million[2], bringing additional spend to local businesses, shops, restaurants and hotels. 

Birmingham was the second stop on the tour of the Natural History Museum’s iconic 26 metre long Diplodocus cast, but Dippy captivated visitors from across the region and beyond. The exhibition attracted 140,203 additional visitors to Birmingham City Centre, who visited especially to see the exhibition, including 66,844 visitors from outside the West Midlands. Meanwhile the popularity of the exhibition helped to boost BMAG’s overall visitor figures, with the museum attracting more than double the amount of visitors than during the same period last year.

65 volunteers supported Dippy on Tour in Birmingham, including volunteer curator’s assistants, communications and engagement assistants, and corporate volunteers, who dedicated nearly 2000 hours of their time.

Dippy on Tour: A Natural History Adventure has been brought about by the Natural History Museum, in partnership with the Garfield Weston Foundation and supported by Dell EMC and Williams & Hill.  In Birmingham, the exhibition was supported by Paradise Birmingham and Friends of Birmingham Museums.

Support also came from Retail Bid Birmingham, with a dinosaur-themed topiary trail across the city encouraging visitors to explore and to learn more about different species of dinosaur as part of visiting Dippy. Visitors at BMAG were also greeted by a 30kg chocolate Diplodocus created by Cadbury World chocolatiers to mark Dippy’s stay in the city.

Janine Eason, Director of Engagement at Birmingham Museums Trust, said:

“A massive thank you to everyone who visited and supported Dippy on Tour in Birmingham. We knew the exhibition would be popular, but we have been overwhelmed by the response and the impact felt across the city.
“Seeing so many people come to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery shows the power that museum objects can have in attracting people to the city centre. We hope to see many of Dippy’s visitors back at the museum again as we have a jam-packed year ahead.”

As part of Dippy’s display, visitors engaged with a wider exhibition about the evolutionary link between dinosaurs and birds, with Birmingham’s bird collection back on display at the museum for the first time in 20 years.

Dippy and the exhibition fascinated and inspired adults and children alike with school visits, day trips, corporate events, expert talks and even a marriage proposal taking place in the exhibition space. After seeing the exhibition many visitors took part in learning activities including a Dino Dig excavation, crafts and interactive storytelling.

Philippa Charles, Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation, says: 

"We are delighted that Dippy has enjoyed a record-breaking stay at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and has inspired visitors to consider the wonders of our natural world. Dippy on Tour is a wonderful way to celebrate our 60th year working in partnership with inspiring charities across the United Kingdom and we hope to work with more in the Midlands in future.”

Dippy on Tour is on display at Ulster Museum in Belfast from 28th September 2018.

The tour takes in the following venues, in chronological order:

  • Dorset County Museum, 10 February - 7 May 2018
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 26 May - 9 September 2018
  • Ulster Museum, Belfast 28 September 2018 - 6 January 2019
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, 22 January - 5 May 2019
  • Great North Museum, Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, 18 May - 6 October 2019
  • National Museum Cardiff, 19 October 2019 - 26 January 2020
  • Number One Riverside, Rochdale, 10 February - 28 June 2020
  • Norwich Cathedral, 11 July - 31 October 2020




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