Torbay tourist attraction won’t reopen
A leading Devon tourist attraction has become the first major business casualty of the coronavirus crisis. Living Coasts, which is connected to Paignton Zoo won’t reopen to the public once the pandemic is over.
A statement from the charity that runs it, Wild Planet Trust, says: “Falling visitor numbers and the forced closure of all its zoos due to covid-19 has meant that it has had to look at its cost base and make efficiencies. After nearly 20 years of operation the site also needed substantial maintenance that the Trust is no longer in a position to afford.
“The next stage is to find homes for the animals. Living Coasts is part of a world-wide network of zoos and aquariums and will be looking for homes for the animals within them once movement restrictions have been lifted. Most of the animals kept at Living Coasts are marine species that will need specialist facilities. Living Coasts is confident that good new homes for the animals will be found, but at present it is unclear how long this process may take.
“All 44 staff at Living Coasts have been placed at risk of redundancy. This will be considered within the context of the wider restructuring of the Trust’s zoos, and potential redundancies at their other sites (Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo).
“Wild Planet Trust would like to thank the many people who have visited and supported Living Coasts over the years, and the many businesses, and grant giving trusts which have support its vital conservation work.”