Isle of Wight County Press reports that proposals for the project are being expanded and will cost an investor “significantly more” than £33 million.
Cllr Dave Stewart described plans as a “Disneyland opportunity for a dinosaur park”. Dinosaur Isle could open as soon as spring 2023.
Stewart 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.”
He also said the initial proposal prompted interest from a “very significant investor”, which resulted in a trip to Portugal (via On the Wight).
Dinosaur Isle could open by 2023
Two investors are reportedly in the running to redevelop Dinosaur Isle, including the firm behind Dino-Park Münchehagen and Dino Parque Lourinhã in Portugal.
“We have a bidder who has come along and wants to invest more than the original invitation to tender,” said Cllr Ward.
Dinosaur Isle plans have not been made public, but Cllr Wayne Whittle said they will put the project on a “different level” that goes “way beyond” the original plans.
“The proposals are extremely ambitious and will put the offer on a different level in terms of national and international significance, going way beyond what we thought possible in the original IIT,” said Whittle.
Investment “significantly more” than £33m
Dinosaur Isle was designed by Rainey Petrie Johns. It is a purpose-built dinosaur museum located in Sandown and was the first custom-built dinosaur museum in Europe.
The current tender proposals will be reviewed, and council officers will report back to leading cabinet members as soon as June.
The 2017 EOI issued by the Isle of Wight Council said it would be a “nationally important visitor attraction while further developing its role as a world-class scientific resource and an important regional educational centre”.