Nicola Sturgeon promises Scottish Government support for Edinburgh Zoo

Nicola Sturgeon said the Scottish Government will continue to consider how to support organisations like Edinburgh Zoo.

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: "The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) have signalled that a number of their staff have now entered the redundancy process.

"Put simply, the continuing restrictions on travel in and out of Edinburgh caused by its Level 3 status are a body-blow to Edinburgh Zoo's pathway to recovery.

"They simply cannot sustain month after month of a reduced footfall while we wait for the vaccine.

David Field, chief executive of the RZSS, revealed that the charity has lost £2.5m this year. (Photo by Lesley MARTIN / AFP)

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"Parliament saved the zoo once, so will the Scottish Government back the investment made by this chamber to extend emergency funding to tide them through the winter months?"

Mr Sturgeon said: "The Scottish Government will continue to consider how we support Edinburgh Zoo and other organisations.

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"This is a horrendously difficult situation, but that is the fundamental truth at the heart of this challenge that we are going through right now.

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"We will continue to look at how we help those bearing the burden - and that will undoubtedly include Edinburgh Zoo."

It comes after David Field, chief executive of the RZSS, revealed that the charity has lost £2.5m this year.

Mr Field said: “We have tightened our belts and made savings in every possible way, without having an impact on visitor experience or animal welfare.

“The frightening thing is what we are still facing next year. We have a large level of debt to service, with repayments starting from June.

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“We haven’t been able to access any money from the Government emergency fund.”

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