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Zoological Society

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 9 April 1987

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will announce details of further financial support to the Zoological Society of London; and if he will make a statement.

I am pleased to say that the Government and the Zoological Society of London have agreed on both the level of funding for 1987–88 and the mounting of a radical study of the options for the future management and funding of London zoo and Whipsnade park. My right hon. Friend therefore intends to grant to ZSL £2 million in 1987–88 as revenue support plus a sum of up to £150,000 to match money raised by ZSL from private sources in 1986–87.In addition ZSL has agreed that before the end of 1987–88 it will see whether there is a basis for submitting firm proposals for attracting new capital. In order to assist it, ZSL will, jointly with DOE, commission a firm of consultants to investigate the options. The study, which will be part paid for by the Government, will have the following terms of reference:

  • (i) To advise on the kinds of zoos which ZSL might appropriately develop for future visitors.
  • (ii) To identify the scope for introducing private capital into the zoo operation, in association with measures to increase revenue from visitors.
  • (iii) To draw up a prospectus which can be used by ZSL as a basis for attracting potential investors.
  • We shall consider the need for any further Government support for ZSL in the light of the outcome of the study and ZSL's own proposals.