AS CHESTER Zoo gears up to create one of the largest zoo developments in Europe, it has transferred its full banking facility to the Co-operative Bank.
The account has been arranged by Ian Heesom at the bank’s corporate banking centre in Altrincham.
The move comes after Cheshire West and Cheshire Council planners gave the green light to transform part of the zoo’s estate in order to showcase some of the conservation projects it undertakes in South East Asia.
The £30m Islands project will transform part of the estate into the islands of the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi.
John Iles, finance director from Chester Zoo, said: “We are very pleased to be working with the Co-operative Bank. They have been very supportive of the zoo for a number of years.
“We chose the Co-operative Bank after a competitive tendering process and were extremely impressed with their ethical, environmental and sustainability goals, which had a strong strategic fit with the zoo’s conservation and ethical objectives.
“This is an exciting period of development for us and we consider our business relationship with the Co-operative Bank as central to our plans.”
Ian Heesom, business development manager, said: “Islands is such a significant project for conservation, for the zoo and for the wider Cheshire area which will feel the economic benefits. It’s a privilege to be involved.”
The Islands will be home to a rich variety of animals and plants, including new species such as the Sunda Gavial crocodile. Visitor exploration will be made possible by boat and bridges. Work is expected to start early this year, with the entire zone open to the public by Easter 2015.