Yorkshire Wildlife Park unveils £50m expansion plan

Yorkshire Wildlife Park hopes to create 300 jobs and bring in new animals following a £50 million expansion.

The attraction near Doncaster has secured 150 acres of land next to its current site, and outline planning permission for the expansion is due to be submitted in the coming months.

John Minion, chief executive, described it as a ‘major investment’ which would double the workforce from 300 to 600.

He added: “Since opening we have also been able to contribute hugely to protecting endangered species such as Amur tigers and leopards and African painted dogs, and our visitors share our passion to cherish wildlife and ensure its survival.

“This expansion will allow us to take our conservation work to another level.

“We are very excited about this next stage of our life and believe it will be a game changer for Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster and the surrounding area.”

Cheryl Williams, director, added: “Leisure has become a key part of the Doncaster story. Our development is located close to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Doncaster Racecourse and the new proposed PGA Golf course at Rossington.

“This will provide a critical mass of world-class tourist attractions and bring an international audience to Doncaster.”

The park, which is home to more than 400 animals, opened in 2009 and is now one of the UK’s most popular zoo attractions, with 761,000 visitors last year.

A visitor hub is being designed at the new entrance, which could include a hotel and restaurants.

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is a very exciting development for the team at Yorkshire Wildlife Park who have done a fantastic job developing the attraction since it opened.”