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DOCTOR WHO FANS UNITE TO SAVE POPULAR ATTRACTION

The Doctor Who Experience will shut its doors in Summer 2017.

Thousands of Whovians sign petition to save The Doctor Who Experience

The Doctor Who Experience will close its doors in summer 2017.

The Doctor Who Experience will close its doors in summer 2017.

Doctor Who fans worldwide have gathered to save The Doctor Who Experience from closure by signing a petition, as the popular attraction’s lease expires next summer.

The Doctor Who Experience moved from London Olympia Two, to its permanent home in Cardiff on 20th July 2012. This was after its London run from 11th February to 11th November 2011.

Housing Doctor Who props, monsters and character outfits on display, as well as an interactive walkthrough, it has since closed briefly for a six-week period, before regenerating in order to include the latest incarnation of The Doctor, Peter Capaldi. It now plans to close its doors after its five-year lease expires in 2017.

Despite the potential closure, Rebecca Ferriday, 46, founder of the petition against the closure of the attraction says “We need our DWE!”

Doctor Who Fan Rebecca Ferriday set up the petition thouands have now signed.

Doctor Who Fan Rebecca Ferriday set up the petition thouands have now signed.

Since opening, it has been a huge contribution to tourism and the economy for Cardiff, with fans coming from all over the world to visit the popular tourist spot.

The Experience has hosted “Wholloween” events, as well as special events for the 50th Anniversary in 2013. The Target Doctor Who Magazine covers are currently on display there, too.

Harri Cole, 16, says “To get rid of the Doctor Who Experience from Cardiff would not only be an incredible shame for fans like me who treasure Doctor Who but potentially a humungous mistake for the city of Cardiff and the income.” He adds “The Doctor Who Experience has been incredibly benificial for Cardiff Council with the tent itself being eco-friendly.”

Harri Cole with actor who portrays 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi.

Harri Cole with actor who portrays 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi.

As a result, Miss Ferriday felt compelled to create the petition, which raised an impressive 5520 signatures of its 6000 goal within just 3 days.

While she set up the petition, with the intention of it being available internationally, it appears it can not be signed with an international postcode.

11-year-long fan of the show, George Baker, 16 from Bristol started watching the show after its revival in 2005, with Series 1 episode Father’s Day. He decided to set up the Twitter hashtag #SAVETHEDWE and account @SAVETHEDWE to raise awareness about the situation, upon realising a petition already existed.  The campaign advises all international fans to use the Doctor Who Experience postcode to sign the petition.

George Baker With Peter Capaldi

George Baker, who set up the Twitter account with Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi.

He says “For years, it’s been a place for fans to unite and have a fun day out, [with] many events hosted by the experience for fans to go to as well (e.g. TARDIS studio tours).”

George Baker's Doctor Who collection

George Baker’s Doctor Who collection

While the hope remains that it stays open, what happens if it shuts?

Rebecca says “Since setting up the petition I have received many, many messages from fans across the globe who are just as upset about this closure as local fans – many of them are now cancelling planned visits to the UK just to visit the DWE, so this does have a knock-on affect for the city in terms of loss of revenue; fewer tourists mean less money for Cardiff, fewer jobs for local people, and fewer reasons to visit Cardiff in the first place!”

“Please Cardiff Council – think of the bigger picture here. It’s not just a museum. It’s a place of pilgrimage and a real money-spinner for the city.” she added.

However, according to a woman from Cardiff Council, “As far as we’re aware, they’re the ones who don’t want to renew the lease.”

So, why would they opt to close? Will this petition change their minds? The questions remain and the future of the popular attraction hangs in the balance.