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Wildlife Foundation Receives £2.8m SCC Grant to Build New Centre

Published on: 29 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 3 Aug, 2023

How it is envisaged the new centre will look

A county council grant of 2.8 million was confirmed last week to help protect the future of British wildlife and enhance Surrey’s biodiversity.

The SCC Cabinet awarded the Your Fund Surrey grant to the Wildlife Aid Foundation.

Your Fund Surrey was launched in November 2020 to give power and influence to local communities across the county. The total funds awarded to communities across Surrey now stands at over £14 million.

See also: £2.8m Proposed for Wildlife Aid Foundation

The Wildlife Aid Foundation has been rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, including some of Britain’s most vulnerable and endangered animals for over 40 years.

A new 20-acre site, situated half a mile away from the Wildlife Aid Foundation’s current home in Leatherhead, on land bordered by the M25 and the River Mole, will enable more people to learn about protecting, supporting and living alongside wildlife.

The Your Fund Surrey grant will be used to build the Wildlife Aid Centre, a new accessible visitor centre and community hub which will provide year-round activities for visitors. The funds will also be used to install accessible boardwalks, viewing platforms and hides which will offer visitors free access across the site.

The new centre will feature state-of-the-art facilities including multi-purpose meeting and learning spaces, and a hub for community groups, schools and families. Visitors will also benefit from a community café, exhibition space and shop.

Completing the new site, the Wildlife Aid hospital will relocate from its current location, updating its facilities so more injured animals can be treated. As a result, there will be an increase in the number of volunteering opportunities for people interested in wildlife conservation and animal welfare.

Simon Cowell, CEO of Wildlife Aid Foundation, said: “It’s an astonishing fact that a third of Surrey’s biodiversity is either locally extinct or heading that way. The power of the Wildlife Aid Centre shows that, by all of us working together, we will be able to change this.

“We will inspire visitors to carry out regular, small actions which will have significant, positive impact on the environment. And by all of us doing it, our joint strength is enormous.

“This amazing funding means we can finish creating the habitats and build a visitor centre that will welcome everyone. I am thrilled that Your Fund Surrey is supporting the Wildlife Aid Centre; together we will create a replicable movement for environmental good that is driven by our communities.”

Cllr Denise Turner-Stewart

Denise Turner-Stewart Surrey County Council deputy leader and Cabinet member for Communities and Community Safety said: “This is fantastic news for the Wildlife Aid Foundation and indeed for Surrey’s residents. It is a truly ambitious and inspiring community legacy project.

“The new centre aligns with our ambition to promote a greener future in Surrey, to help restore and protect the future of the county’s natural environment and encourage nature and wildlife to thrive. It will also offer huge benefit, opening the doors for people of all ages and backgrounds to learn more about wildlife conservation.”

The Your Fund Surrey Large Community Project funding is available for funding of larger capital projects in excess of £10k, and is subject to a staged application process.

Further information on funding for both small- and large-scale projects can be found on the Your Fund Surrey website.

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Responses to Wildlife Foundation Receives £2.8m SCC Grant to Build New Centre

  1. Sara Tokunaga Reply

    August 2, 2023 at 7:41 am

    Wonderful news. For once SCC have got something right!

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