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Heritage Lottery head visits Dudley Zoo
2:45pm Tuesday 18th September 2012 in Local
THE head of Heritage Lottery Fund West Midlands stopped off at Dudley Zoo this morning to see how the attraction is using its £1.15 million Heritage Lottery grant.
During the visit Reyahn King viewed the four Tecton buildings which are set to be restored under the 36-month programme, as well as taking a ride on the recently relaunched chairlift, which has been refurbished thanks to £117,000 of the awarded funding.
Technical evaluation work on the modernist structures - the safari gift ship, entrance, bear ravine and a kiosk – has already begun, with the first on-site work on the gift shop set to commence next September.
Restoration work on the iconic Castle Hill entrance is set to be completed by Spring 2014, with the bear ravine and kiosk transformation beginning thereafter.
The unique project will also feature a partnership with Dudley College ’s Construction and Building students, who will be taking part in an apprentice training scheme on the repair of concrete using conservation methods.
Following her visit Ms King said: “After a fantastic summer celebrating Dudley Zoo’s 75th anniversary and the exceptionally popular newly restored vintage chairlift, we are delighted to see this major part of the project get under way.
“While the zoo is home to some of the rarest animals in the world, it also houses some of the most significant architecture with world monument status in the Tecton buildings.
"These structures are sure to attract many visitors and get people involved in the architectural heritage of Dudley Zoo as well as the wonderful animal treasures to be enjoyed.”
Dudley Zoo chief executive, Peter Suddock said: “This project has been made possible by Heritage Lottery funding and we are immensely grateful that we have been given such an opportunity to work on this incredible collection that is recognised across the globe.
“They will be restored using original techniques and materials; this is the first time this has been done worldwide so it truly is a unique programme.
“It’s very much a bespoke scheme which requires evaluation of the whole structures. We are not simply repairing one section of each building; a series of methods will be employed throughout the course of the project.”
“It will be fantastic to see them restored to their original state and we can’t thank the HLF team enough for all their support.”
The ongoing £1.15m Heritage Lottery Fund programme is just one part of the zoo’s ongoing development. Other work includes a welcome plaza, car park entrance, signage and medieval-themed castle experience which has been funded with £1m from the European Regional Development Fund. While Dudley Zoo is ploughing a further £600,000 into upgrading the shop, toilets and food outlets.