Chester Zoo scales back development

The Heart of Africa bio-dome, due to be the first phase of its £225m expansion, has been "postponed for now due to Government funding cuts" the visitor attraction said today.

Instead, the zoo has scaled back its ambition to start the with the £30m "Islands experience" in the south-west side of the 110-acre zoo to include educational exhibits, play areas, restaurants and village-style food stands.

There will be a new boat ride to link exhibits of Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, Sun bears, Malayan tapir, various lemurs, Sumatran and Philippine crocodiles, hornbills, Visayan warty pigs, spotted deer, Komodo Dragons, Babirusa pigs and other birds, reptiles and invertebrates."

Work is expected to start in 2012 and take 18 months to complete. Hill Dickinson advises Chester Zoo.

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By C Lyon