Chester Zoo has announced exciting plans for a new wildlife zone and accommodation that will give guests the chance to get closer to the animals – after securing a green loan that Knights helped to put in place.

The funding from Santander will help Chester Zoo deliver the next phase of its long-term strategic development plan which will attract new visitors and fund species-saving conservation projects.

Knights worked with Chester Zoo to put a plan in place to ensure the funding can be used as effectively as possible to deliver on that plan.

Construction is already underway on a new Africa zone that will unite different habitats and be home to rare and endangered species including giraffes, zebra, ostrich and antelope.

That news is complemented by exciting plans for a new lodge-style hotel that will be built to top environmental standards and give visitors a chance to spend the night in close proximity to the animals.

Liz Carnie, Corporate Director at Chester Zoo said:

“Our new African zone and overnight accommodation will put a spotlight on a whole host of highly threatened species from the African continent.

“These important new additions to our zoo will ensure we can continue to attract visitors for years and years to come, which is key to funding our vital species-saving work long into the future.

“At a time when a million species are faced with extinction and global biodiversity under huge threat, these projects will give a major boost to our charity and the conservation work we carry out, here in Chester and right across the world.”

Tony Dean, Banking Partner at Knights, worked alongside Chester Zoo throughout the process of securing the loan.

Tony Dean said:

“Chester Zoo’s plans are hugely exciting – and will no doubt make one of the North West’s top visitor attractions even more popular.

“It was a pleasure to work with the zoo to make sure the funding from Santander, which included a Green Loan, delivers maximum impact and can be used as effectively as possible to protect endangered species and provide a great day out for visitors.

“We can’t wait to see the new developments take shape.”

Chester Zoo has more plans to continue to develop the zoo over the next decade, aligning its wildlife habitats to the conservation work that its teams undertake both in the zoo and across the world in support of its mission to prevent extinction.

As well as Knights’ team, Chester Zoo was advised by Hill Dickinson LLP. Santander UK was advised by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.