1. ITV Report

Yorkshire Wildlife Park announces £50m expansion plan

Yorkshire Wildlife Park has announced plans to expand its facility with a £50m investment and the creation of 300 extra jobs.

Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The park has secured 150 acres of land adjacent to the current site and is developing plans in a bid to become one of the leading destinations in the UK.

The new land will enable a natural expansion of the existing park and a new access from Hurst Lane, which will benefit from the second phase of the Great Yorkshire Way road scheme, leading from the motorway network to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The park is currently working with expert consultants and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council to develop a plan for new car parks and optimum traffic management.

Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

A visitor hub is being designed at the new entrance, which could include a destination hotel and supporting visitor facilities including restaurants and leisure shopping. This will include the relocation of the existing Safari Village shopping area. This will attract a wider audience from around the country – but also be a resource for local people, who will be able to access the facilities before the entrance to the WildlifePark reserves.

The park, in Branton, Doncaster, is currently developed on circa 100 acres of its current 300-acre site and is home to over 400 animals from more than 80 species.

It also currently employs 300 local people and there will be enhanced apprenticeship and work experience opportunities as part of the expansion.

Public consultation events on the new proposals will be taking place on Friday June 16 and Saturday June 17.

"We are very excited about this next stage of our life and believe it will be a game changer for Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster and the surrounding area. We have already contributed approximately £12.2 million to the local economy. This is a major investment for us and will double our workforce, creating around 300 new jobs."

– CEO John Minion

“Leisure has become a key part of the Doncaster story. Our development is located close to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Doncaster Racecourse and the new proposed PGA Golf course at Rossington. This will provide a critical mass of world class tourist attractions and bring an international audience to Doncaster."

– Director Cheryl Williams