Zoos and aquariums given £2.5m in Covid-19 support

The Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Fund opened on Friday for applications.

Zoos and aquariums given £2.5m in Covid-19 support Pixabay
Scottish Government: The Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Fund opened on Friday for applications.

Zoos and aquariums have been given another round of coronavirus support, the Scottish Government has announced.

The Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Fund opened on Friday for applications, backed with £2.5m of government money.

The fund builds on £2.6m in grants and loans offered to the facilities last summer.

Along with zoos and aquariums, key conservation projects will also be supported to cover any Covid-related funding shortfalls.

Rural affairs minister Ben Macpherson said: “We recognise this has been a challenging year for zoos and aquariums across Scotland.

“Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the sector, with restrictions affecting visitor numbers – an important source of revenue for zoos and aquariums.

“While some of the wider business support packages have helped the sector, we recognise that many zoos and aquariums face significant ongoing costs to look after the animals and wildlife in their care.

“I would encourage zoos and aquariums to apply to this enhanced fund, as it is important that their conservation work is able to continue.”

The fund for zoos and aquariums will close on March 10, while the conservation part of the fund will open for applications later this month, the Scottish Government said.