The Aspinall Foundation: Barclays CBILS funding steps in to help parks protect wildlife
Together the two are home to 1,300 animals, including 400 of the world’s rarest and endangered species. The Foundation, whose mission is to halt their extinction and return animals to the wild where possible, licenses the parks alongside its work in Africa and Asia where it funds and manages protection projects in Congo, Gabon, Java and Madagascar.
It also provides support to other schemes including those in India and Cambodia.
Port Lympne safari park also features a collection of lodgings including a historic hotel and guests can enjoy settings such as its Lion Lodge and the recently purchased 15th century Giraffe Hall.
Both UK sites offer bars and restaurants, closed now too because of COVID-19 which means the Foundation missing out on at least some of the peak visitor season which lasts until October half-term.
Protecting endangered animals is at the core of the Foundation, and we were determined not to let the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of our mission
The Aspinall Foundation’s managing director Tony Kelly
The CBIL scheme was one of the first things the business turned too when its income dried up. Credit approval came through within three weeks and the loan drawn down in four days.
Tony Kelly, The Aspinall Foundation’s managing director, said: “Protecting endangered animals is at the core of the Foundation, and we were determined not to let the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of our mission.
“When cash flow ground to a halt in the most profitable season for our animal parks, we approached our Barclays relationship director for help who delivered what we needed in the timescale promised.
“The £2 million CBIL loan will help make sure that the 1300 animals across both our sites still get fed and watered, and ensures that we can carry on paying our dedicated animal keepers.
“Our main priority right now is making sure our precious animals get the care they need, and that the Foundation can carry on repatriating them to the wild when this is all over.”
Mike Saul, hospitality and leisure head for Barclays Corporate Banking, added: “We are working closely with clients to provide the vital funding they need and we look forward to the park re-opening its doors and helping Tony and the Foundation continue on their upward trajectory from the start of the year.”
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