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Press Blog

Secad provide support for Animal Care & Conservation Centre

The construction of a new Animal Care and Conservation Centre at Fota Wildlife Park will be supported by significant investment by South and East Cork Area Development (SECAD).  The investment in one of Ireland’s most popular attractions was welcomed by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, who was on hand to turn the first sod on the development site.

The new facility, which will house native and globally endangered species, will cost over €600,000 to develop onsite at Fota Wildlife Park, and a grant support of €200,000 is being provided by SECAD. 

“Fota Wildlife Park made an application to South & East Cork Area Development (SECAD) for funding through the Rural Development Programme to assist with the construction of a new Animal Care and Conservation Centre this year”, explained Ryan Howard, CEO SECAD.  “As a key tourism attraction in this region and as part of the Ring of Cork initiative, we are delighted to support this special project and to support employment in the tourism and hospitality sector here”. 

The new development will see the creation of an additional ten jobs at Fota Wildlife Park across a number of areas from animal health and veterinary to animal care and support staff.  This is one of many investments in the Region by SECAD to stimulate job creation, and ensure the viability and attractiveness of the South and East Cork area for visitors and locals alike. 

Sean McKeown, Director of Fota Wildlife Park said “The Animal Care and Conservation Centre is a very important development for Fota Wildlife Park.  The indoor visitor facility will make the wildlife park more of an all-weather attraction, increasing visitor numbers to the park and therefore creating additional jobs here.   This project could not have been undertaken without the generous financial support from SECAD, therefore we would like to thank their CEO Ryan Howard and his staff for the efficient and effective manner with which our application was processed. We would also like to acknowledge Minister Coveney for his continued support in the development of Fota Wildlife Park into a world class facility”.

“This new development at Fota Wildlife Park will enhance the breeding and conservation work at Fota Wildlife Park, and will also provide a new opportunity for the public to learn about the importance of preserving indigenous biodiversity and the need to conserve flora and fauna globally.  The indoor viewing area will be key also to increasing the appeal of the park in winter months and in all weathers”, said Minister Coveney at the turning of the sod at Fota Wildlife today.