Our new £200,000 office complex will be officially opened this morning by a rare bird when ventriloquist Keith Harris and fluffy duck, Orville, cut the ribbon at the Castle Hill site!
The 2,650 sq ft complex, which includes offices for Administration, Finance, Research and Marketing staff, plus a conference room and archive department, was created following a six-month refurbishment of the Tecton Safari Gift Shop and its listed 1960’s extension.
The programme has been wholly funded by DZG.
DZG CEO Peter Suddock said: “It was an interesting project as we had to strip back layers from the past three decades, during which time the buildings had a variety of uses, but it was fairly straightforward and we managed to bring it in on both cost and time. “We have remained as authentic as is practically possible to the original design of the building with external rendering to keep it in context with the rest of the Tecton range, but used modern technologies internally including a low energy air source heating system and advanced IT. “It’s wonderful to have such offices to represent a world class organisation and the close proximity to the zoo makes it so much easier for staff to run the business.” Staff made the move from the zoo’s former offices, in The Broadway, over several months and have now fully settled into the new suite which has direct access to the Safari Gift Shop and to the site’s lower zone and offers adjacent car parking for visitors to the complex.
Mr Suddock added: “This heralds a a major redevelopment programme for DZG and we’re all very excited. It’s fantastic to see investment across the whole site, particularly the car park and entrance area. Much of the design is in direct response to customer feedback we listen to what our visitors tell us and we just know they’re going to love the plans.”
Mr Suddock said he was very grateful to Keith Harris for giving his time to perform the opening ceremony. He said: “Heartfelt thanks go to Keith for finding time in his busy schedule to fit us in. We met when Keith, who is appearing in Jack and The Beanstalk at The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton, visited the site for promotional shoots when DZG sponsored the show’s dress rehearsal. “He was really interested in our work and volunteered his time for the opening for which we are immensely grateful.” Keith will be presented with an adoption pack for a bird that, like Orville, can’t fly a rare Humboldt penguin, called Arkwright.
DZG’s 2013/14 redevelopment programme will see:
£15,000 refurbishment of Reptile House, including new entrance, enclosures, walkways, signage and review of stock
A group of Gelada baboons to be moved to the banks adjacent to the chairlift
Resurfacing and repairs to roadways across the 40-acre site
Construction of public viewing platform over tapir pool
Work to begin on new entrance and car park
Construction of walkway between Penguin Bay and Reptile House
Makeover of Farm
Work on Tecton