DINOSAURS… In scenes strangely reminiscent of the opening scene of Jurassic Park, a series of giant predators emerged from shipping containers in Chester this week. But luckily for the fellows pictured above, these particular predators are animatronic, and part of a new exhibition at Chester Zoo launching later this month. The likes of T-Rex, a Quetzlcoatlus, a 12-foot-tall bear, the megalodon shark, a frankly-too-large snake, and a sabretooth tiger will make their debut at the zoo on 26 May, after being shipped from the USA. The exhibition will act as a showcase for the creatures but also carries a more serious message: once an animal is extinct, it’s gone forever. If you fancy re-enacting the Jason Statham role from The Meg or even doing your best Jeff-Goldblum-as-Ian-Malcolm impression, tickets are available on Chester Zoo’s website.
GREEN FINGERS… It’s fair to say Manchester isn’t a city renowned for the quality of its green space, but fair play to Exterior Architecture and Marketing Manchester for these plans, put forward as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show, taking place later this month. Designed to offer a perspective on post-industrial cities, The Manchester Garden features a tree for each of Greater Manchester’s 10 boroughs, a water feature to tell the story of the region’s waterways, and a paved area named after Sir James Whitworth hewn from local sandstone. There’ll also be a focal point, a sculpture by Denton-based studio Lazerian, chronicling the city’s move from “cottonopolis” to the home of graphene. It’s making its debut at the show between 21 and 25 May, and there’ll also be a short film about the garden featured on the BBC.
MORE MONEY… It’s always gratifying to see the Government find £1.6bn down the back of the sofa to move Parliament a few hundred metres up the road, under plans announced this week. The billions will be spent on rebuilding the former home of the Department for Health in Whitehall for a temporary parliament as the Palace of Westminster gets a full makeover. Works include a temporary debating chamber for MPs within Richmond House, which will be fully redeveloped with a retained façade, designed by architect AHMM; meanwhile, BDP is on board for a wider masterplan which will see eight listed buildings restored within the parliamentary estate. THING can’t help but think the Government could save a few quid by moving parliament elsewhere – a couple of local candidates in Liverpool and Manchester spring to mind – but we all know coaxing MPs outside of the M25 is always a big ask. Wonder how much £1.6bn would get you up in the North West?
FANCY FLIERS… Speaking of having a few spare quid, Manchester Airport has revealed prices for its upcoming private terminal, PremiAir. Set to open later this year, the swanky new terminal won’t be the cheapest, with prices starting at £50 and rising to £175 per person for the whole package. The cheapest package gets you later arrival – an hour before, instead of the usual two or three – a dedicated security line, and a transfer to your flight. Stump up an extra £50 and you get food and booze in the lounge before you leave; £125 gets you a smoother arrival back in Manchester, with access to the lounge when you land. The whole whack for a round trip starts at £175. We’ve all suffered through Manchester Airport at various points in our lives, but is it really worth £50 to avoid the queues? All will be revealed when PremiAir opens in September. Wonder if they’ll still charge you for pick-up and drop-off?