HULL’S flagship visitor attraction The Deep will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Friday.
Thought to be the second most successful Millennium project in the country after the Eden Project in Cornwall, which cost nearly 10 times as much to build, the £45.5m tourism and education centre has welcomed 4.5 million visitors since it was opened by Prince Andrew in 2002.
The iconic building, designed by Sir Terry Farrell, bills itself as the world’s only “submarium” and is home to a bewildering array of creatures, from seahorses and sharks to blue poison arrow frogs.
It gained a wedding licence in 2007 and has since been the venue for 34 marriages. At its busiest, it welcomes almost 5,500 visitors a day.
The Deep will host a series of family activities and live music over the weekend to celebrate the milestone.
Chief executive Colin Brown said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating 10 years here at The Deep and I would like to welcome everyone to come and have a good time with us this weekend.
“In the last 10 years, we have welcomed over 4.5 million visitors through our doors and we are still going strong. This is a testament to the fantastic team we have in place, many of which have been here since day one.
“We are constantly developing new exhibits for people to enjoy and improving the range of species we have on display, so if you haven’t visited us in a while, then there has never been a better time.”
Deep chairman Coun David Gemmell said: “The Deep is the most successful of the ‘pay to enter’ Millennium projects and that we have been able to create it here in Hull is a testament to all those involved from the beginning and throughout the ten years it has been open.
“It clearly demonstrates that the highest quality will always succeed wherever it is. I am delighted, though not surprised, to see so many people still enjoying the attraction ten years on.”