The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has received initial support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a new visitor centre at our Highland Wildlife Park, near Aviemore.
£100,000 of development funding has been awarded to RZSS to help progress plans to create Scotland's Wildlife Discovery Centre.
Home to the first polar cub to be born in the UK for 25 years, Highland Wildlife Park welcomed record-breaking visitor numbers last year.
Daska Mackintosh, Highland Wildlife Park’s Head of Operations and Visitor Services, said, “It is very exciting to receive this support thanks to National Lottery players. Hamish, the UK’s only polar bear cub, has been fantastic for us, attracting over 200,000 visitors to the park in 2018.
“Building Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre would help us continue to deliver excellent customer service to our increasing number of visitors and inspire them to appreciate and enjoy Scotland’s wildlife, as well as understand how they can help to conserve it.
“Detailed plans will now be drawn up in preparation for a final stage application for funding in 2020.”
The RZSS centre would be an ambassador for sustainable building design, using natural and locally sourced materials and situated amongst wetlands and native woodlands with landscape views in every direction.
Plans also include flexible learning and educational event spaces to enable an expanded activity programme to give more people the skills and knowledge needed to contribute to the management of Scotland’s native wildlife heritage.
Community engagement workshops to provide further information and gather feedback will be held in village halls in Carrbridge on 23 April, Newtonmore on 24 April and Kincraig on 26 April. Drop in anytime between 3pm and 7pm.