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Anglesey Sea Zoo resurrects £1m expansion plans to double size of the aquarium site

Anglesey Sea Zoo is resurrecting plans for an ambitious £1m sustainable expansion project.

They hope to start work on the extension to their premises at Brynsiencyn, on the Menai Strait, at the end of this year. It will double the current size of the facility.

Owner Frankie Hobro’s plans for a greener future for the Sea Zoo had to be put on hold last year when the pandemic hit, although she had obtained outline planning approval and had secured funding for the project with plans in place.

Now she’s determined to press ahead with the end of lockdown in sight.

She said: “We were all set for the project to start, with a funder in place when we had to shelve the plans because of the pandemic but I’m confident that the expansion will still go ahead once restrictions are relaxed.

“It will be a completely sustainable building and will double the current size of the Sea Zoo, quadruple the café area, provide new indoor education areas and a conference facility.

Frankie Hobro, owner and director at Anglesey Sea Zoo

“There is also a very exciting element to the new expansion which will be a first not only in North Wales, but globally, providing a desperately needed boost to the economy of Anglesey through employment opportunities and as a unique one-of-a-kind indoor Sea Zoo experience.

“In normal times during speak season we have between 20 and 30 permanent staff here and over 50 with seasonal staff included. This expansion will create many more permanent and seasonal roles and will bring the whole business close to being completely Net Zero.

“The fact that we pump all our water in from the Menai Strait on our doorstep and have made the exhibits all from the seas around the UK make us sustainable and ethical as an attraction, and in 2017 I fitted 50kw of PV panels which made us the first solar powered aquarium. But this expansion will improve our Net Zero credentials even further whilst bringing an exciting new all-weather experience to the island.”

■ Frankie will speak about her green credentials and her plans at Net Zero 2021, a major online business conference which aims to encourage private sector and not for profit organisations across the Wirral, Cheshire and North Wales to reduce their carbon footprints.

Anglesey’s other major contributor to the conference is the adrenaline-fuelled high octane RibRide, based on the Menai Straits, which is aiming to cut its carbon as the UK’s first Blue Flag marine business.

RibRide’s 100 kilometre-per-hour Velocity is the world’s fastest passenger rib – rigid inflatable boat – and blasts customers around the coast of Anglesey at speeds of over 60mph.

But now the successful 10-year-old tourism business is keen to stress its green credentials which include its fleet of e-foils, surfboards skimming the waves above an electrically-powered hydrofoil wing charged from renewable sources.

Boss Phil Scott will join Frankie Hobro at the Net Zero conference.

Ashley Rogers, commercial director at the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council, said: “We want to recognise the companies that are already leading the way towards Net Zero and celebrate their role as pathfinders to this goal, inspiring other businesses to follow suit.”

The free conference has been organised by the North Wales Mersey Dee Business Council for May 20. Go to https://netzero2021.eventbrite.co.uk

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