The first full size animatronic dinosaur to be installed in a UK canal is set to make a splash in Leeds this summer.
A 14.5m long roaring Spinosaurus – about the length of a bus – will be inhabiting the dock at Granary Wharf, with its toes dipping in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
Event organisers, LeedsBID, believe it will be the first of its kind in the country in such a location and is one of 12 specially built beasts coming to the city for six weeks from July 30 for the free, family friendly Leeds Jurassic Trail.
And children’s TV star Andy Day will be the face and voice of the trail, giving key facts and stats about many of the creatures on digital displays dotted around the city centre, alongside the dinosaurs.
The acclaimed performer and self-confessed dinosaur fan is well-known for his entertaining, educational performances and shows all about the prehistoric beasts.
The full list of dinosaurs, and their locations, people can encounter include:
Spinosaurus – Granary Wharf
Atrociraptor – Leeds City Station
Parasaurolophus – Leeds Corn Exchange
Baryonx – Leeds Kirkgate Market
Brachiosaurus – Merrion Centre
Dilophosaurus – SOYO Leeds (Quarry Hill)
Ruyangosaurus – St Johns Centre
Stegosaurus – The Core Shopping Centre
Tyrannosaurus – Trinity Leeds
Nasutoceratops – Trinity Kitchen
Amargasaurus – Victoria Gate
Triceratops – Victoria Quarter
John Lewis will also host story time adventures and baby dino hatchery on special dates and live Jurassic entertainment including walkabout beasts will be held on Briggate and Lands Lane every Saturday on Sunday for free throughout the trail.
More than 300,000 people visited the trail last year, bringing an estimated £2.07m to the Leeds economy at a critical time.
Leeds Jurassic Trail 3 will run from July 30 to September 4, featuring partners Canal & River Trust, Child Friendly Leeds, Granary Wharf, Leeds City Council, Leeds Corn Exchange, Leeds Kirkgate Market, Leeds City Station, Merrion Centre, SOYO Leeds, St Johns Centre, The Core, Trinity Kitchen, Trinity Leeds, Victoria Leeds and John Lewis who are all joining forces on the event.
Andy Day said: “To engage kids with dinosaurs is a passion of mine and I think Leeds city centre has done a great job. To have full scale animatronic dinosaurs for them to see and learn about is brilliant.”
Andrew Cooper, Chief Executive of LeedsBID, said: “Bigger, better and more to see for free will be the Leeds Jurassic Trail experience this year. Installing a dinosaur in the canal is ambitious. We are grateful to our partners in that location for their support and we are looking forward to making something special happen in the water.
“All those involved in Leeds Jurassic Trail have gone over and above this year, and this huge free event looks set to generate major interest and footfall which in turn directly supports Leeds city centre’s continued recovery and position as a leading destination in the UK.”
To find out more including location and dinosaur details, see www.leedsjurassictrail.co.uk