Businesses covered by the Zoo Licensing Act will soon be able to bid for a portion of a new £100 million grant, it has been announced.
The grant fund forms part of the Government’s package of support designed to help businesses affected by Covid-19.
According to the announcement, animal welfare and conservation organisations, such as zoos and aquariums, can apply for funding to help “mitigate the impacts” of the pandemic, such as covering the costs of feeding the animals, heating and security.
The Government said any establishment covered by the Zoo Licensing Act will be eligible to bid for a grant.
It adds to the existing £14 million relief fund announced earlier this year, as well as Business Rates Relief, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and grant funding of up to £25,000 available through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
Welcoming the additional funding, Dr Simon Girling, Chair of the Zoo Experts Committee, said: “The Zoo Experts Committee (ZEC) is pleased that the UK Government has listened to the scientific advice of the Committee and not only provided an animal welfare fund at the start of the pandemic for zoos in financial difficulties associated with the lockdown, but they have now made the move to open all parts of zoos from 4 July with appropriate social distancing for public and animal safety.
“ZEC welcomes these moves and believes this funding will ensure zoos are able to generate much-needed income to fund the ongoing care of their animals and much of their valuable conservation work at this challenging time for everyone.”
Further details on the scheme and how to apply will be provided “in due course”.
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