Seaton tourist attraction to stay closed to the public

The new Seaton Jurassic centre. Ref mha 11-16SH 7475. Picture: Simon Horn

The new Seaton Jurassic centre. Ref mha 11-16SH 7475. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

The Seaton Jurassic Centre will be left as an empty building until East Devon District Council decide what to do with it.   

In a meeting on Wednesday (October 6) it was decided the building would likely cost up to £200,000 to fix, all of which would need to be done before it was let to a new operator.   

The visitor attraction, which was opened in 2016 by Princess Anne, is made up of a gift shop, meeting rooms, café, office, exhibition rooms and gardens. The last occupants were Devon Wildlife Trust who moved out in September. 

East Devon District Council have had some ideas for the building. The Countryside Team have suggested creating a repurposed Seaton Wetlands Visitor Centre to boast attractions like webcams on ‘wildlife hotspots and host events and activities for schools, Or a ‘wetlands experience’ cycle route with hire bikes available.  

Another option being looked at is to allow the building to be leased to someone who will run it as an interpretation centre but will also make it a more general attraction not necessarily focussed on the Jurassic Coast.  

The final option is just to sell/rent the site to the highest bidder.  

EDDC's leader Councillor Paul Arnott said: "At the outset I wish to thank the hundreds of volunteers who gave their time so generously to try and make a go of Seaton Jurassic. I know many of them well and, long before I was a district councillor, they were openly sharing with me their concerns about both the viability and the construction of the building.  

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"My administration has inherited this sad state of affairs, but we will work tirelessly to make sure that the eventual outcome is a vast improvement on what exists, and out of respect for the thousands of free hours given by Seaton people doing their best we will make sure we find out and publish how this project was commissioned against the better judgement of so many people at the time." 

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