Posted June 4, 2020 in News
Our fight for survival continues…
Colchester Zoo has been closed since March therefore we have received no income to be able to carry out work both here at the zoo and found it difficult to give our usual financial support to our charity, Action for the Wild, to carry out conservation related work in different parts of the world.
Whilst Furlough has helped zoos with wages, even closed, a zoo still requires a huge number of staff to deal with the welfare of the animals, the maintenance to ensure all the systems, including life systems, remain in working order. In addition, cost for electricity, water and heating remains more or less at the same level even if we have no visitors.
We have always been careful with our money here at Colchester Zoo and because of this we have survived with money originally allocated to construction projects and improvements but we are scrapping the bottom of the barrel now.
People have been amazing and donations have gone over £100,000 and we are extremely grateful to everyone for their generosity. Supporters have also donated fruit, vegetables and even PPE.
Our staff have also been amazing and deserve the same respect NHS staff have received from the public.
To survive and understand what we have to face we now need clarity from the Government:
- When will we be allowed to open?
- How many people will we be allowed to welcome?
- What are the conditions we will need to meet to be able to open?
- What further assistance will we receive from the government to help us as we only expect to make 30 to 50% of the turnover we enjoyed last year?
If no clear help is available, we expect the number of redundancies to be huge because of the loss of income. One help would be to reduce VAT to 5% as we are a place of education and also review the business rate for allowances to zoos.
The UK and the Government must understand zoo’s are different because of their livestock. Different to any other business and unless assistance comes now many could simply vanish – this would be tragic. To suggest loans from banks as an answer – the answer is no – does it make sense to take a loan if closure is around the corner?
Zoos need to open to continue to be able to provide the high standard of care to the animals and to protect endangered species from extinction. Zoos can’t last much longer being closed – zoos too have become endangered!
Colchester Zoo cares passionately about animals and will continue to ensure they receive the high standard of care we have always provided.
We’re getting ready to safely welcome visitors back to help us to continue vital conservation work here at the zoo and worldwide via our charity Action for the Wild.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help and support during this period of closure but it is vital we maintain this support to help us towards survival.
To donate to Colchester Zoo’s Operating Fund please click here.