Buxton resident brands Jurassic Encounter a 'terrible advert for the town'

A major family event which came to Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens has been branded a ‘terrible advert for the town’.

Friday, 17th June 2022, 6:53 pm
Jurassic Encounter was in Buxton for 16 days
Jurassic Encounter was in Buxton for 16 days

For just over two weeks the Pavilion Gardens were taken over by 50 animatronic dinosaurs as part of the Jurassic Encounter tour.

However, the ticketed event, which cost around £45 for a family ticket, was disappointing, one local resident has said.

Trevor Gunner from Level Lane, Buxton, said: “This could have been an amazing event but what we got instead was a shambles.

Sign up to our daily Buxton Advertiser Today newsletter

A visitor to the Jurassic Encounter experience in Buxton said the whole thing was a bad advert for the town.

“I, along with many others, walked around the gardens when the dinosaurs were being installed and saw them for free.

"Then just days later families were being charged almost £50 to see the same dinosaurs."

Trevor, 66, said some of the life size dinosaurs had teeth and even eyes missing when he went along to the event later with his son who lives in Sheffield and who had purchased a family ticket.

He said: “There was no security - just a few feeble barriers up to try and protect the dinosaurs from any further vandalism.

"People came from outside the area to see this and I think the whole thing has been a terrible advert for the town.

"Who is going to want to come back to Buxton if their lasting impression is of a badly managed event with a less than great attraction and a high price tag?

"The organisers should be ashamed of themselves.”

The event was organised by High Peak Borough Council and Councillor Damien Greenhalgh, Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Regeneration, Tourism and Leisure at the council, said: “Events like this encourage people to come to Buxton and are a key part of supporting local businesses and thriving local high streets which is a priority for this council.

"The majority of the feedback received from those attending this particular event, and the town's nearby businesses, has been positive so it is disappointing to hear these experiences.”

And Naz Kabir, from Jurassic Encounter, said: “It was not a case of being free whilst we were installing the event, the venue management decided we could not put up fencing as the whole park needed to be open to the public during the eight day install period.

"There were a few dinosaurs in the park area, which kids could climb on, which is correct. But those same dinos were not fenced off after we opened the event so this did not affect visitors at all.

“We believe the event was good value for money and we had a huge amount of positive feedback which tells us the majority of our visitors had a great family day out.

"It is human nature to look at the negatives and to complain, it is something the public will always do no matter how good or bad an event is.”

Paul Kelsall, general manager of the Pavilion Gardens, added: “The Jurassic Encounter event at Pavilion Gardens attracted over 12,000 visitors to Buxton.

"It was incredible to see the Pavilion Gardens transformed and the thousands of children who clearly enjoyed their visit.

"Events like this one benefit not only Pavilion Gardens but other businesses in Buxton too as was clearly tangible from the extra footfall in the town.

“We will review with the council how future events can be delivered so the whole town can benefit.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. – Louise Cooper, editor.