Plans from Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, for a £50 million expansion are set to be approved by councillors.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park plans announced in June include the development of a new entrance and car parks. It also includes new reserves, lakes and a “visitor hub” with restaurants and a new hotel.
The plans have been recommended for approval by a report when they go before Councillors next week, Insider Media reports.
The report said: “Weighing in favour of the application are benefits associated with the proposal including job creation, economic growth, enhancing an existing tourist attraction and improving ecology and biodiversity.
“Highway congestion and safety were principally the main issue of concern raised by the local community and analysis of the solutions proposed has resulted in Doncaster’s highways teams raising no objections to the proposal subject to suitably worded conditions and subject to the signing of a section 106 agreement.”
The project is expected to create an additional 300 full equivalent time posts, and a further 1500 in the supply chain.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park is currently developed on 100 acres of its current 300-acre site. It is home to over 400 animals from more than 80 species. It currently employs 300 people, so the expansion will effectively double the workforce.
The park welcomed 761,000 visitors in 2016.
“We are very excited about this next stage of our life and believe it will be a game changer for Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster and the surrounding area,” said CEO John Minion, when first announcing the plans. “This expansion will allow us to take our conservation work to another level. But providing an excellent visitor experience is the key to what we do.”
Since opening, the attraction has helped protect endangered species such as Amur Tigers and Leopards and African Painted Dogs.
Image: Tigers at Yorkshire Wildlife Park