Zoos and attractions plead for help to survive

A number of Midlands zoos and attractions - including Twycross Zoo - are asking the public for support due to the pandemic. Credit: Twycross Zoo/Mark Zaccaria

A number of Midlands zoos and attractions - including Twycross Zoo in Atherstone, Warwickshire - are asking the public for support due to the pandemic.

Twycross Zoo and other zoos are now on a closed business list because of a change in the law, which CEO Sharon Redrode says means that they have been told to stay closed indefinitely.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the zoo have made various appeals for help and have not made their financial difficulty secret.

She said "We're a charity, we're not allowed to build up huge reserves" adding "we run out of money at the end of June. We have secured a bank loan that will see us a bit further but it was a lot less than we required to survive."

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic the zoo have made various appeals for help and have not made their financial difficulty secret. Credit: Twycross Zoo/Mark Zaccaria

In April, Twycross Zoo launched a campaign to 'Celebrate its past and protect its future,' which now looks to be helping to save the zoo completely.

This campaign has so far raised over £100,000.

Twycross Zoo is delighted by the public's support, but says that these donations alone won't secure their future.

The zoo hoped that it would receive a grant from the government through the Zoo Support Fund, which Twycross Zoo helped lobby for. However it does not support bigger conversation zoos but is reserved to protect smaller organisations.

Twycross Zoo is delighted by the public's support, but says that these donations alone won't secure their future. Credit: Twycross Zoo/Mark Zaccaria

Twinlakes Family Theme Park in Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire is also asking for support during the pandemic.

They say "as a family run business for families" they are asking for the public - if they can - to make purchase a small gift card.

A £5 gift card, they say, will be valid for 24 months from purchase, and will be able to be used towards day tickets, annual passes (even when they're on sale) as well as on seasonal grotto purchases online or at the theme park.

Twinlakes Family Theme Park is also asking for support during the pandemic. Credit: Google Street View

Dudley Zoo (and Castle) has also been closed since March 22nd due to coronavirus, and is currently also asking for support through donations.

So far their fundraising campaign has raised over £21,000.

Dudley Zoo (and Castle) has also been closed since March 22nd Credit: PA Images

The Government has announced a £14 million fund to support zoos hit by the pandemic lockdown - however another larger zoo, ZSL London Zoo, says that this would be of more help to smaller businesses rather than a large scale organisation like their own.

On Thursday (June 11) at 14:30 in the Commons there will be a short debate on the reopening of zoos, aquariums and wildlife sanctuaries. The debate will be opened by Romford MP Andrew Rosindell.

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