Twycross Zoo: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th June 2020.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to support Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We continue to engage regularly with some of the major zoos and aquariums, including Twycross Zoo, to identify the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on larger organisations.

A number of schemes have been made available to businesses and charities that should help them during this emergency. Zoos are eligible to apply for the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan schemes, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding of up to £25,000.

As announced by the Prime Minister on 10 June, outdoor areas of zoos and safari parks are now allowed to reopen, subject to appropriate social distancing measures being in place. Allowing zoos to reopen is an integral step towards supporting an early financial recovery.

Consideration of proposals for any longer-term support that might be needed for the sector is ongoing. With the help and support of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums we are working diligently to find the best way forward.

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