The next phase of a £720,000 refurbishment of Leeds’s wildlife wonderland is set to get the go-ahead.
Tropical World in Roundhay, which is home to a wide-variety of animals, including meerkats, butterflies, birds, fish, reptiles, nocturnal monkeys, bats and crocodiles, is undergoing a major revamp thanks to a partnership between Leeds City Council and ongoing patrons the Ziff family, who have also donated a large sum to the project.
Phase one work already completed includes the development of a new entrance space and children’s party and education zone, along with the new ‘walk-over’ crocodile enclosure.
A report to be presented to the council’s executive board on Wednesday sets out the plan for phase two, the design of a new toilet block with changing facilities and new conservatory extension.
The improvement scheme was given the initial go-ahead last year. As part of the work, there will also be a renovation of the nocturnal closure, and a major refurbishment of the existing aquarium.
If given the final go-ahead by councillors, which will allow for £500,000 of funding to be released, work on phase two will begin in January 2014, and is set to be completed by April 2014.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said: “The Arnold and Marjorie Ziff Tropical World is one of our city’s most popular visitor attractions, and I am delighted that the executive board is now in a position to give the final go-ahead to proceed with phase two of our wide-ranging refurbishment programme.
“The work which was undertaken in phase one, which included a new ‘walk-over’ crocodile enclosure, is absolutely fantastic, and phase two promises to be equally impressive with the addition of a new walk through aquarium.
“These improvements could not have been made without the generous backing of the Ziff family, and I would like to thank them again for their continued support which is massively appreciated.”
Tropical World started life in the early 1980s, with the building of the then John Dunstan House, which was added to the original Coronation House building.
In subsequent years that attraction was added to with three more show green houses made possible by a generous donation from the Ziff family, who have been regular supporters.
The attraction draws 300,000 visits every year and is one of Yorkshire’s top 10 most popular tourist attractions. A full refurbishment of the Coronation House was undertaken in 2001.