Redundancies announced at Bristol Zoo and Wild Place Project

Up to 35 people are facing redundancy at Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place Project.

Up to 35 people are at risk of losing their jobs at Bristol Zoo and the Wild Place Project.

The two attractions, which are run by the Bristol Zoological Society, say cuts are necessary “due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic”.

They are facing multi-million pound losses after being forced to close for several months earlier this year.

The Society says a formal consultation process is now underway, with 35 roles at risk of redundancy.

A recently born baby gorilla at Bristol Zoo.

“There is little doubt that this year has been by far the most challenging year that the Society has ever faced in its 185-year history,” says Dr Justin Morris, CEO of Bristol Zoological Society, said. 

“Like many in the tourism sector, we rely on the spring and summer months to generate much-needed income to support our work for the entire year. 

“Despite reopening our two attractions in the summer after prolonged closures, we limited our visitor capacity on site to maintain social distancing and to ensure the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers." 

This meant we have been unable to make up the huge shortfall in income lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are currently facing a multi-million-pound loss for 2020. With limits on visitor numbers likely to be in place during 2021 also, we will continue to feel the impact of coronavirus for the foreseeable future.

Dr Justin Morris, CEO of Bristol Zoological Society

Neither Bristol Zoo or the Wild Place Project are eligible for the Government’s Zoo Animals Fund, which only offers support to zoos with less than 12 weeks of funding remaining.

An iguana at Bristol Zoo.

Dr Morris added: “We are now facing even more uncertainty and pressure, at a time when we, like others, are having to operate under very challenging circumstances. 

“Redundancies have always been a last resort, but sadly it has now become inevitable, and we would like to pay tribute to our excellent and committed colleagues.”

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