The deadline for applications for the £100m Zoo Animals Fund, which opened for applications on 3 August 2020, has been extended until 29 January 2021.
The fund provides funding for zoos and aquariums which need additional support in caring for their animals following a drop in income caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Zoos and aquariums which are facing severe financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic can apply for government grants of up to £730,000 to pay for animal welfare related costs and essential maintenance.
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
I recognise that this has been an extremely tough time for the sector, and I would like to extend my thanks to all of those who have worked so hard in recent months to maintain animal welfare. We remain committed to ensuring the sector can deliver the best possible care for its animals.
Extending the deadline for applications by two and a half months will ensure that this support can continue for our zoos and aquariums and ensure the quality of animal care continues.
The fund also offers grants to support rehoming costs in the event that zoos need to downsize or potentially close, and continues to be open to zoos and aquariums which have already received support through the £14 million Zoo Support Fund.
In addition, there are already a number of support schemes available to zoos, including 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 available through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
The Zoo Animals Fund will remain open for applications until 29 January 2021 and will run until the end of March 2021. Zoos and aquariums can apply for the fund at any time ahead of this deadline.