Twycross Zoo secures £19.9m funding to fight the global extinction crisis!
Following the Autumn Budget 2021 announcements on the 27th October, Twycross Zoo East Midland Zoological Society is delighted to learn that the bid they submitted to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund, for a National Science and Conservation Centre has been approved.
The bid had the support of Dr Luke Evans MP for Hinckley and Bosworth, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and various leading Midland’s universities. Together they have united behind Twycross Zoo’s 2030 vision to become a recognised ‘centre of excellence’ that makes a significant contribution to the welfare and conservation of animals. The National Science and Conservation Centre, once built, will propel the zoo, Leicestershire and the UK right into the heart of the fight against the global extinction crisis.
Twycross Zoo East Midland Zoological Society, based in the heart of the UK, is already a leading voice in conservation, science and education and renowned as a World Primate Centre, being the only zoo in UK home to the four great apes.
The National Science and Conservation Centre will be a purpose-built centre located adjacent to Twycross Zoo and will offer researchers from around the world the opportunity to study the four great apes as well as 100 endangered species, in naturalistic complex environments. It will also support conservationists and scientists from around the world with a facility for both research and teaching. The work at the centre will focus on conservation; animal welfare; biosciences; STEM activities and public engagement with science and will include a unique 200-seater venue for scientific conferences. The work that takes place will significantly shape the outcomes of the global extinction crisis.
Dr Sharon Redrobe OBE, CEO of Twycross Zoo, said: “We are delighted to hear that our bid for the Government’s Levelling Up Fund has been successful and without a doubt this funding will make a huge difference to the conservation of endangered species and our planet. As we approach COP26, it is clear that the need to address the global issues facing our planet has never been more urgent, and with this new centre, we will be able to establish a national focus on protecting species from extinction and training and inspiring the conservationists of the future.
“We are extremely grateful for the support our bid received from Dr Luke Evans MP for Hinckley and Bosworth, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council and our partner universities. Not only is this centre critical in the development of solutions to address the global extinction crisis but it will safeguard and create high skilled local jobs, investment, and increased tourism to our area, attracting international scientists. By working together, we can make a real difference!”
Bosworth MP Dr Luke Evans has been a vital voice in government, championing this bid and the work of Twycross Zoo throughout. Reacting to the news, Dr Evans said: “I am absolutely thrilled that my recommendation of Twycross Zoo’s project for a National Science and Conservation Centre has been successful, what fantastic news! As a result, £19.9 million of funding from the Government is heading to our area, and the centre is going to be a real hub for research, development and conservation – not just locally, but nationally and internationally in addition!”
“This investment will help to build on the fantastic work already done at Twycross Zoo, with real, tangible, benefits for our local economy. A huge congratulations to everyone at Twycross, having worked with the team there since being elected, I know that they will be absolutely thrilled by this news. I’m extremely proud that our area is continuing to strengthen its reputation as the place to invest, from Twycross Zoo, to the Midlands Engine and Green Growth, to all the work being done at MIRA!”
Twycross Zoo launched initial plans for the National Science and Conservation Centre in 2019 at the House of Lords. The centre will feature:
- A purpose built centre offering researchers from around the world the opportunity to study the four great apes as well as 100 other species
- Excellent teaching and research facilities focussing on conservation, animal welfare, biosciences, STEM activities and public engagement with science.
- A state of the art conference venue for global scientific events
- Onsite accommodation for visiting conservation experts and specialists from around the world
- Twycross Zoo is the only place in the UK home to the four great apes and the centre will be surrounded by their newly-developed habitats