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Living Coasts should remain wildlife centre

Living Coasts, centre, overlooking Beacon Cove, Torquay (courtesy: Google)

Torbay Council anxious to retain an attraction

Torbay Council wants to see the closed Living Coasts marine zoo at Torquay back in use as a wildlife centre.

The Wild Planet Trust, which also runs Paignton Zoo and Newquay Zoo, recently announced that the attraction won't reopen after the pandemic, with the loss of 44 jobs.

The council is in talks with the trust which has a 125-year lease for the site, on an outcrop between the harbour and Beacon Cove.

A statement said the council would prefer to see its use for wildlife continue. It said: “The partnership which runs Torbay Council is saddened with the demise of Living Coasts. 

“We continue to work closely with the Wild Planet Trust that manages Paignton Zoo to ensure that their core offer of conservation work and local attraction has long term viability. 

“We have received a good number of expressions of interest in the Living Coasts site, from continuing its current use as a wildlife centre, using the restaurant as a stand-alone offer, to the complete redevelopment as the site. 

“With the zoo, we plan to test the viability of expressions of interest so that it can continue its current or similar use. This is our preferred way forward and we will not actively be seeking a complete redevelopment of this site unless the preferred proposals are not possible.”

The trust said in June it made the decision to close Living Coasts because of falling visitor numbers and the economic impact of coronavirus.

It said: “After nearly twenty years of operation the site also needed substantial maintenance that the trust is no longer in a position to afford.”


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