The Unnatural History Museum fantasy attraction is headed for Gateshead. Dinosauria Ltd will take over the long-term lease on the Old Town Hall Quarter, undertaking a multi-million pound regeneration plan.
The Unnatural History Museum is set to become a family-friendly interactive attraction based around mythical monsters and magical paraphernalia from a wide range of mythology, legend, folklore and fantasy stories from all over the world. Visitors will walk through rooms and corridors in an immersive experience that offers a mix of animatronics, VR, audio/visual effects and live actors. They will meet a wide range of fantasy creatures including unicorns, dragons, goblins, trolls and fairies.
Dinosauria has reached an agreement with Gateshead Council to lease the Grade II listed 120-year old complex. The first stage of the project will involve a multi-million pound investment to create the attraction within the Old Town Hall. It is likely to create around 90 jobs and revitalise the town centre. Entertainment options are widely seen as being vital for the evolution of retail IRL.
Two further phases will follow. These will expand the attraction, adding more leisure and entertainment options. There will be a themed restaurant that will include a microbrewery and bar. The wider site development will create over 200 jobs.
Dinosauria has support from Tier One Capital, the Newcastle-based wealth management specialists, which are helping to raise the finance for the project. Muckle LLP advised on the lease of the building and local creatives Hedley McEwan are working with the development team on promotion.
“The Unnatural History Museum will be a unique attraction launching within the UK and the Gateshead site, and offers a continually refreshing experience for fans of all ages who love fantasy, folklore and science fiction,” says Tony Beddard, CEO of Dinosauria Ltd and its subsidiary The Unnatural History Museum™ Ltd. “Fantasy, fairy stories and mythology are ingrained within our culture, and with epic TV programmes like Game of Thrones and films like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s simply a genre that will just continue to grow, and be a relevant part of people’s lives and imagination.”
Bringing life to central Gateshead
“The Unnatural History Museum will bring new life to central Gateshead, creating new jobs and opportunities for residents whilst boosting the economy both locally and regionally,” says Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council. “Revitalising the historic Old Town Hall by refurbishing it into something unique is exactly what we had in mind… The project will assist in creating a thriving and vibrant tourist attraction ensuring a sound economic future for Gateshead and bringing people up from the Tyne to the town centre. We’re excited to see the plans for this impressive site.”
Fantasy and gaming inspiring attractions
The fantasy genre and video gaming are inspiring a new range of attractions. eSports is set to be a huge trend for the future, overtaking NFL as a spectator sport with a projected 300 million viewers by 2022.
Evermore, opening in Utah later this year, will be a theme park without rides or IP, but with live action role playing (LARP), dragons, quests, pirates, and midnight costume parties.