Coronavirus Scottish Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare Fund

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

This fund is currently closed but may reopen in future.

If you run a zoo or aquarium in Scotland and are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to apply for a 0% unsecured loan or grant of up to £100,000 from the Scottish Government to pay for three months of animal care costs.

The fund is:

  • in place to protect the welfare of animals living on site or by rehoming
  • intended as emergency funding for zoos and aquariums that have already taken up other forms of government and non-government support
  • not primarily aimed at saving businesses

Am I eligible?

Yes, if your zoo or aquarium is in Scotland and either:

  • holds a current full licence or dispensation under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981
  • has been inspected and granted an exemption under the Zoo Licensing Act 1981 due to its small size

In addition, your zoo or aquarium should:

  • not be run and/or funded by the local authority
  • not be an undertaking in distress as defined by Article 2(18) of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 (the General Block Exemption Regulation)

Before you apply you must have taken all reasonable steps to:

  • minimise costs while maintaining animal welfare, including accessing relevant government COVID-19 cost-relief schemes (such as the coronavirus job retention scheme, business rates holiday, tax deferral and statutory sick pay rebate)
  • generate income in other ways, including applying for other government COVID-19 loans and grants, fundraising, insurance claims, bank loans and overdrafts

If you intend to apply for a grant you'll have to prove that you have 12 weeks or less operating costs remaining.

What does this cost?

There is no cost to apply. Loans must be repaid according to your agreement.

Who is this for?

Zoos and aquariums in Scotland which are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Important information

Loans are the primary support mechanism and will be made available to any zoo or aquarium that meets the criteria.

Grants will only be available when loan support would not be viable. This is considered to be the case where a zoo or aquarium has 12 weeks or less operating costs remaining, including any loan or overdraft facilities.

Next steps

Visit the Scottish Government website for more information, or email or phone 0300 244 9999 to request an application pack.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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