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Exclusive: Chester Zoo reveals ambitious masterplan as it strives to become world's best
POSTED 21 Jul 2015 . BY Tom Anstey
The zoo wants to replicate the feel of its new Islands section across the park, offering a fully immersive experience Credit: Chester Zoo
Following the launch of Chester Zoo’s Islands development, managing director Jamie Christon has said the £40m (US$62.2m, €56.4m) project is only the start of the UK visitor attraction’s ambitious masterplan, as it aims to become a world leader in the sector.

Speaking exclusively to AM2 Christon said that the Islands development, which opened last week, is the beginning of a multi-year masterplan currently under development behind the scenes.

“Heart of Africa was the original name for part of Islands,” said Christon. “What we want to do if this works, which clearly it’s going to, is start to geographically theme the rest of the zoo based around our field programmes across the world.”

The zoo currently runs 10 major field programmes worldwide in an attempt to save species threatened with extinction. Each programme has a species or regional biodiversity focus and looks at the likes of Asian elephant, black rhino, jaguar and red ape conservation among other species and regions. Christon said that the zoo wants to reflect the conservation work being done across these programmes at the zoo, which the masterplan will seek to address.

“Rather than having animals in particular species enclosures, it will be in geographical zones so part of the conservation education message is people are bringing back what parts of the world animals live in and why they are critically endangered,” he said.

“What we have done with Islands – addressing the issue of conservation in a world region – we want to do across the zoo. For example, phase two of Islands will include the Bali Starling Temple: we’ll have four or five Bali starlings in there, we just caught them on the edge of extinction and are starting to redevelop them. It’s a really important species and one we want to show-off and promote. That’s what we want to do across the entire zoo.”

The 111 acre (50 hectare) zoo has earmarked an additional 389 acres (157.4 hectares) of land for future development, but Christon first wants to focus on the existing zoo before expanding outwards.

“We need to reassess and redesign what we’ve already got in the original zoo, which isn’t going to be an easy task,” he said. “It’s a tight zoo and to create one new area, we’ve probably got to move six or seven things to be able to do that. We’re in the process of creating that masterplan now and hopefully we’ll be able to start to see the beginning of those works next year.”

On top of the zoo’s ambitious masterplan, plans are also afoot to redevelop Oakfield House – a Victorian mansion – as a tourist attraction. The house was the setting for Our Zoo a BBC-commissioned period drama that told the story of the founding of the zoo in the 1930s. In addition, the zoo still has outline planning permission for a 150-bedroom hotel, which Christon said is still being considered for development.
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The zoo wants to reflect the conservation work being done across itse programmes at the zoo, which the masterplan will seek to address Credit: Chester Zoo
Islands is the beginning of a multi-year masterplan currently under development behind the scenes Credit: Chester Zoo
PROJECT PROFILE:

Chester Zoo Islands
Chester Zoo has debuted its new £40m (US$62.2m, €56.4m) Islands development, making the visitor attraction one of the largest and most important zoos anywhere in the world.


RELATED STORIES
Phase one of Chester Zoo's £40m Islands development opens to the public


Chester Zoo has debuted its new £40m (US$62.2m, €56.4m) Islands development, making the visitor attraction one of the largest and most important zoos anywhere in the world.
Blow for Chester Zoo as 'Our Zoo' axed by the BBC


Our Zoo, the popular TV drama about the history of Chester Zoo, has been cancelled “to create room for new shows” according to the BBC.
'Our Zoo' TV show worth £30m in PR to Chester Zoo, says MD


Chester Zoo’s managing director Jamie Christon has said the hit BBC show, Our Zoo, has provided the equivalent of around £30m (US$48.1m, €38m) in free PR for the visitor attraction in the north of England.
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NEWS
Exclusive: Chester Zoo reveals ambitious masterplan as it strives to become world's best
POSTED 21 Jul 2015 . BY Tom Anstey
The zoo wants to replicate the feel of its new Islands section across the park, offering a fully immersive experience Credit: Chester Zoo
Following the launch of Chester Zoo’s Islands development, managing director Jamie Christon has said the £40m (US$62.2m, €56.4m) project is only the start of the UK visitor attraction’s ambitious masterplan, as it aims to become a world leader in the sector.

Speaking exclusively to AM2 Christon said that the Islands development, which opened last week, is the beginning of a multi-year masterplan currently under development behind the scenes.

“Heart of Africa was the original name for part of Islands,” said Christon. “What we want to do if this works, which clearly it’s going to, is start to geographically theme the rest of the zoo based around our field programmes across the world.”

The zoo currently runs 10 major field programmes worldwide in an attempt to save species threatened with extinction. Each programme has a species or regional biodiversity focus and looks at the likes of Asian elephant, black rhino, jaguar and red ape conservation among other species and regions. Christon said that the zoo wants to reflect the conservation work being done across these programmes at the zoo, which the masterplan will seek to address.

“Rather than having animals in particular species enclosures, it will be in geographical zones so part of the conservation education message is people are bringing back what parts of the world animals live in and why they are critically endangered,” he said.

“What we have done with Islands – addressing the issue of conservation in a world region – we want to do across the zoo. For example, phase two of Islands will include the Bali Starling Temple: we’ll have four or five Bali starlings in there, we just caught them on the edge of extinction and are starting to redevelop them. It’s a really important species and one we want to show-off and promote. That’s what we want to do across the entire zoo.”

The 111 acre (50 hectare) zoo has earmarked an additional 389 acres (157.4 hectares) of land for future development, but Christon first wants to focus on the existing zoo before expanding outwards.

“We need to reassess and redesign what we’ve already got in the original zoo, which isn’t going to be an easy task,” he said. “It’s a tight zoo and to create one new area, we’ve probably got to move six or seven things to be able to do that. We’re in the process of creating that masterplan now and hopefully we’ll be able to start to see the beginning of those works next year.”

On top of the zoo’s ambitious masterplan, plans are also afoot to redevelop Oakfield House – a Victorian mansion – as a tourist attraction. The house was the setting for Our Zoo a BBC-commissioned period drama that told the story of the founding of the zoo in the 1930s. In addition, the zoo still has outline planning permission for a 150-bedroom hotel, which Christon said is still being considered for development.
Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
The zoo wants to reflect the conservation work being done across itse programmes at the zoo, which the masterplan will seek to address Credit: Chester Zoo
Islands is the beginning of a multi-year masterplan currently under development behind the scenes Credit: Chester Zoo
RELATED STORIES
Phase one of Chester Zoo's £40m Islands development opens to the public


Chester Zoo has debuted its new £40m (US$62.2m, €56.4m) Islands development, making the visitor attraction one of the largest and most important zoos anywhere in the world.
Blow for Chester Zoo as 'Our Zoo' axed by the BBC


Our Zoo, the popular TV drama about the history of Chester Zoo, has been cancelled “to create room for new shows” according to the BBC.
'Our Zoo' TV show worth £30m in PR to Chester Zoo, says MD


Chester Zoo’s managing director Jamie Christon has said the hit BBC show, Our Zoo, has provided the equivalent of around £30m (US$48.1m, €38m) in free PR for the visitor attraction in the north of England.
MORE NEWS
Museum operators using AR to take their exhibits global
Two leading museum operators in the UK have partnered with an augmented reality specialist to present holographic exhibits and experiences for students around the world.
John McAslan + Partners-designed M7 cultural hub and museum opens in Doha
A new creative hub in Doha looks to position itself as the new heart of Qatar’s fashion and design industry – as well as a public showcase for innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.
North American and Japanese attractions dominate 2021 Thea Awards
North America and Japan-based visitor attractions and businesses picked up 14 of the 19 Thea Awards this year.
IAAPA news: VRstudios and Creative Works launch 'Fury' VR attraction
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QubicaAMF is the largest and most innovative bowling equipment provider with 600 employees worldwi [more...]
ProSlide Technology, Inc.

A former national ski team racer, ProSlide® CEO Rick Hunter’s goal has been to integrate the smoot [more...]
Painting With Light

By combining lighting, video, scenic and architectural elements, sound and special effects we tell s [more...]
FORREC Ltd

We create guest experiences others don’t, masterplan like no one else can, and give the world’s bi [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Giving the Gift of an experience has limitless benefits
As we emerge from the clutches of Covid and our freedom of movement is fully restored, giving the gift of an experience is more appealing than ever before. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Proslide Tech Inc - ProSlide | Atlantis Dubai
More videos:
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

01-07 Dec 2022

World Leisure Congress 2022

tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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