An ‘Eden Project’ style development will combine two attraction projects that had been planned for Portland, Dorset, for some time – MEMO and Jurassica.
The new attraction will feature around a linear kilometre of underground ‘gallery’ space. A labyrinth of tunnels will allow visitors to explore the history of life on earth. It will combine the visions of MEMO and Jurassica and be supported by the Eden Project.
Circus, drama, artworks, games, virtual reality and stone carving will bring the stories in the experience to life.
A design team has been appointed. It includes renowned virtual reality and visual effects artists.
Sebastian Brooke, Project Director, MEMO, said: “We will tell the biggest story of all: the evolving story of life. It’s a story four billion years in the making and so far as anyone knows has happened nowhere else in the universe.
“According to the world’s biologists, a really significant chapter is unfolding right now with the loss of biodiversity worldwide, and with its mines, its cliffs and its mysteries, Portland is an amazingly vivid setting for the telling of it.”
Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project, said: “Eden’s mission is to explore our dependence on the natural world, to use that understanding to excite people into delivering transformation where they live and to ask really serious questions about what a great future might look like for all of us.”
Memo is an educational charity founded in 2007 by Sebastian Brooke. Its mission is to engage the public with biodiversity loss.
Jurassica was founded in 2013 by science writer and journalist Mike Hanlon, who died in early in 2016.
The original Eden Project in Cornwall cost £141m ($196m) to build and opened in 2001. It was funded through National Lottery and EU grants. It was also funded by the Southwest Regional Development Agency and £20m ($28m) in commercial loans.
Image courtesy Ian Watts