Coronavirus lockdown costs Marwell Zoo £3m

The owners of Marwell Zoo in Hampshire says they want to know how much of the Government's rescue package for zoos they are entitled to as the wildlife park prepares to reopen on Monday.

The zoo says it has lost £3m during the coronavirus lockdown. While it has welcomed the rescue package, owners say they were disappointed that the previous zoo fund announced by the Government wasn't relevant for Marwell.

In a statement, the zoo says: "12 weeks of lockdown during one of our key trading periods has put Marwell Zoo heavily in debt and undoubtedly in a difficult financial position.

We urgently call upon DEFRA to clarify details of the expanded scheme and to confirm for example; the necessary scale, caps on payment, repayment status, eligibility and relevance to the actual needs of the sector and large zoos like Marwell, as has been repeatedly discussed with Government officials."

Marwell Zoo reopens its gates for the first time in three months on Monday with safety measures in place to protect guests, staff and animals. The zoo is home to more than 140 species and welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each year.

James Cretney, CEO Marwell Zoo: