Priti speaks up for Colchester Zoo in the House of Commons

Priti feeds Tanya, the elephant, a coconut during her summer 2022 visit to Colchester Zoo.

Priti speaks up for Colchester Zoo in the House of Commons

Published: 13th January 2023 - 6:52 am Category: Local News

The Witham MP, Priti Patel, has spoken in support of Colchester Zoo in the House of Commons. During questions to environment ministers on 12th January 2023, Priti praised the Zoo’s record of supporting conservation, tourism and local employment, and asked the Government to provide more support for zoos as, they face pressures from the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and rising costs.

In response to Priti’s question, Trudy Harrison, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on behalf of the Government, confirmed that zoos will receive support with energy costs during the next financial year.

Priti said: “Colchester Zoo has a fantastic record of supporting conservation efforts worth millions of pounds and investing in local jobs. The Zoo is one of our County’s great tourist attractions but, like all zoos, faces pressures from rising costs and the consequences of the Covid pandemic. I welcome the Government confirming that zoos will get some help with their energy costs and I will continue to press for more support to be given to our zoos.”

Extract from House of Commons Defra questions debate, 12 January 2023:

Priti Patel (Witham) (Con)

  1. What recent support her Department has provided to zoos. (902954)

Trudy Harrison (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs): We are working with the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the zoo sector so that our zoos can become even more sustainable and conservation-focused. In addition to £16 million of covid support funding, the energy bill relief scheme will help with overheads.

Priti Patel: The Minister will be aware of the incredible work that zoos across the country, and in particular Colchester zoo in my constituency, undertake on conservation, tourism and job creation. Zoos are also doing incredible work internationally, but, as she knows, they have been badly hit by the pandemic. What support are the Government providing to preserve this great international work as well as to help create jobs, boost tourism and boost our local economy? Of course, she is always welcome to come to the Witham constituency and to Colchester zoo.

Trudy Harrison: My right hon. Friend is quite right and is brilliantly championing Colchester Zoo. Zoos across this country are working on more than 800 conservation projects with more than 105 countries. Saving endangered species is vital work. We have already announced that zoos will be eligible for higher-tier support under the energy bills discount scheme from April 2023 to March 2024. We also work closely with zoos and their representatives. We have continued to ensure that the updated licensing standards support zoos.

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