Dippy on Tour crowned Partnership of the Year at Museums and Heritage Awards 2019

Over a year has passed since Dorset County Museum’s 26-metre-long visitor Dippy the diplodocus delighted the Dorset community, but his stay continues to be a roaring success.

The Museum were among the partner venues presented with the prestigious award of ‘Partnership of the Year’ at the Museums and Heritage Awards for Dippy On Tour: A Natural History Adventure

The award was given to celebrate the success of Dippy’s stay in Dorset, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and Ulster Museum in Belfast. The Natural History Museum’s Diplodocus cast is now halfway through its UK-wide tour and continues to excite and connect audiences with nature and inspire the next generation of scientists in their local communities.

Supported by the Arts Council England, the partnership was commended for being ‘enormously successful and brilliantly transformative for all involved’.

Kate Bellamy, Director of Museums, Arts Council England, said: ‘We were pleased to hear of the successes at this year’s Museum and Heritage awards, and we were delighted to have sponsored the Partnership of the Year award for the first time. At the Arts Council we believe in the importance of developing partnerships in the cultural sector and we want to congratulate Dorset County Museum along with the other four cultural organisations who achieved recognition for the national Dippy Tour, which captured the hearts and minds of people across the country.’

The award will join Dorset County Museum’s growing collection of trophies for Dippy in Dorset which has received overwhelming recognition across the South West. The Museum are incredibly delighted that the tour continues to be a huge success and the memories of Dippy made by the 153,189 visitors, remain at the heart of the local community today.

Director of the Museum, Dr Jon Murden said: ‘Dippy on Tour was an amazing experience for everyone at Dorset County Museum and was partnership working at its very best. We have been able to develop many new partnerships in the town and we intend to continue and develop this collaborative way of working. Dippy helped us transform the Museum, opening up new possibilities and new audiences. The community really took Dippy into their hearts, and the result was an exhibition and experience that no one in Dorset will ever forget.’

The Museum are beyond grateful to everyone coming together to welcome Dippy to Dorset, with schools, businesses and local organisations celebrating his 12-week stay in 2018. The tour’s partners the Jurassic Coast Trust and Dorchester BID along with businesses and community groups across the South West embraced his visit, hosting their own Dippy-themed events and adventures reaching over 25,000 people and contributing a huge £2,250,000 to the local economy.

Phil Gordon, Project Director, the Dorchester BID said: ‘We’re completely delighted on this award, it is so well deserved for all the hard work which in to planning and executing such a fantastic, community project, Dippy on Tour.’

Along with the Natural History Museum, the national tour has been made possible with the generous support of the Garfield Weston Foundation.

Director of the Foundation, Phillipa Charles said: ‘We are so thrilled to hear the news and many congratulations to the Natural History Museum, Dorset County Museum and all the tour venues. It is wonderful that the incredible hard work of all the partners has been recognised, as Dippy has created such excitement and engagement across the UK. It has been a real pleasure to work with all involved.’

Dorset County Museum would like to say thank you to the whole community for their engagement and support which contributed to the success and lasting legacy of Dippy on Tour. They look forward to welcoming you all to the new Museum opening in summer 2020 for many more exciting and inspiring exhibitions.