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Staff redundancies announced for Africa Alive, between Lowestoft and Southwold, and Banham Zoo

The Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), the charity which runs a Norfolk and a Suffolk zoo, has announced it is making a number of redundancies in order to secure its long term financial stability.

The owners of Banham Zoo and Africa Alive in Kessingland, between Lowestoft and Southwold, said less than 10 per cent of its more than 200 employees at the two sites were to be affected and sighted rising costs as the reason for the decision.

It comes just over eight months since its Banham site set out its plans for expansion by 2030.

Amur tiger cubs, Kash and Kumi, who were born at Banham Zoo in May this year. Picture: Banham Zoo
Amur tiger cubs, Kash and Kumi, who were born at Banham Zoo in May this year. Picture: Banham Zoo

Claudia Roberts Chief executive of the ZSEA, said: “We have informed all affected employees and are continuing to meet face to face with them.

“Like many organisations across the country, the last few years since 2020 have thrown relentless economic challenges which have had a very human impact.

“I would like to thank our whole team for continuing to be so resilient through difficult times and extend the charity’s thanks to the huge contribution made by all our colleagues and in particular those affected by the recent redundancies.”

Gerard Smith, chairman of trustees for the charity, said members made the choice for job cuts after reviewing the budget for the upcoming year and the reforecasting of energy and utility bills.

He added: “It has been an incredibly difficult period. After surviving the pandemic, we have been faced over the past year with the cost of living crisis, energy costs, and ever increasing supply chain costs.

“The increases in the minimum wage announced last week will also significantly financially impact the cost base of the charity from April next year.

“We have to be able to maintain our high quality veterinary care and animal management and concluded that to continue to look towards a sustainable future the redundancies at Africa Alive and Banham Zoo would be needed to protect the charity through future winter periods due to the seasonality of the operations.”