Plans for a new £20m underground visitor attraction on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast are predicted to attract over 320,000 visitors a year and create 130 jobs, as well as offering an ongoing programme for 30 apprentices on Portland.
The proposals, supported by Cornwall's Eden Project, will merge the previously scrapped plans for an observatory and dinosaur-themed park on Portland and will make use of a disused stone mine on the peninsula.
The original plans included an £80m dinosaur-themed Jurassica and a £30m Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory (MEMO), but were halted last year after they failed to attract enough funding.
Project leaders have announced they will combine and downsize the old plans to create a biodiversity project called The Journey.
Eden Project founder Sir Tim Smit said merging the two was "deemed the best chance of success". Describing The Journey as a "world-class attraction", he said it would include an underground Jurassic rainforest within the tunnels of Albion Stone's mines.
Seb Brooke, project director of MEMO, said: "We are delighted to be working with Eden to develop the new project but it's not like the original MEMO or the original Jurassica - it's a new hybrid. The big change is that we are doing the main visitor experience underground.
"There will be a mixture of stone carving - a very ancient form - and very up-to-the minute digital technology, virtual and augmented reality."
Jurassica chair Tracey Brown said: "The combination of our visions will be greater than the sum of their parts, making this into one of the UK's most exciting projects to be undertaken since the turn of the millennium."