CHESTER ZOO Announce HUGE Expansion Plans!

Chester Zoo Announce HUGE Expansion Plans For 2023 & Beyond!

Chester Zoo – the much loved family zoo based just outside Upton, Chester have today revealed HUGE expansion plans.

Speaking to Cheshire LIVE the popular UK zoo unveil significant expansion plans detailing overnight accommodation, new animal habitats and a brand new wedding venue.

It’s hope that the planned changes will further increase the zoo’s capabilities to carry out more charitable work and create a brand new holiday destination unique to the region.

Chester Zoo first opened in June of 1931 and since doing so has become synonymous as one of the UK’s top zoo attractions.

Taking about their proposed plans, Chester Zoo say “Throughout the next few years we’re developing some of the most exciting new additions the zoo has ever seen. This includes our project to bring an authentic African Savannah with lodge-style accommodation to the zoo with the new Heart of Africa zone.”

"This includes our project to bring an authentic African Savannah with lodge-style accommodation to the zoo" - *Image Credit - Chester Zoo.

The zoo also reveal plans for a brand new snow leopard habitat in 2024;

“We’re also delighted to be developing a state-of-the-art snow leopard habitat which is set to open in 2024.”

It is believed that the proposed expansion will also allow for other new animal habitats to be created over the coming years alongside other works planned.

Chester Zoo also reveal plans to expand their current onsite grade II listed stable block into a new, modern wedding venue including an onsite restaurant and welcome street for guests staying overnight.

The brand new wedding & events venue is said to possess a total capacity of 380 guests at any one.

The stable block itself has stood on the site since Chester Zoo first opened back in 1931 & has played host to some of the zoo’s original animals.

“The Square will be a special, one-of-a-kind space that preserves the zoo’s rich history and character, while also adding a modern twist to its interior that showcases our plans for a more sustainable future. While the zoo has, for some time, offered an intimate wedding and events space at The Oakfield gastropub, which can hold around 50 guests, we’re frequently asked if we can accommodate larger scale events.”

talking further about their plans Jamie Christan – Chester Zoo’s CEO says that;

“That’s why we’re really excited to begin welcoming guests to this incredible new venue from early next year. But what’s particularly special is that income generated by each and every occasion that takes place at The Square will contribute to our charitable mission and help us to secure a brighter future for wildlife on our planet.

When The Square opens in spring 2023 there will be nothing else quite like it in the UK. Who wouldn’t want to get married surrounded by 27,000 animals?”

The above shows how the zoo anticipate the transformed stable block will look once works have been completed. - *Image Credit - Chester Zoo.

Discussing their plans for the addition of overnight accommodation further Chester Zoo has revealed that it is hoped the brand new lodges will allow guests the chance to wake up in close proximity to the zoo’s onsite giraffe enclosure.

This unique experience will almost certainly prove a great selling point for the brand new lodges and will offer a memorable, family friendly experience for all who stay.

The 62 brand new lodges will be located within the grasslands zone and come as part of the Chester Zoo’s upgraded plans from 2019 which formerly saw approval given for them to build 28 lodges and 14 tents back in September of 2019 (pre-pandemic).

Further plans also reveal that the new lodges will be situated around a purpose built lake and will be in close proximity to an African Street & welcome building.

It is said that the planned upgrades and changes will transform the already popular visitor attraction into an African Savannah experience.

The brand new wedding venue is currently expected to open some time this Spring, whilst the snow leopard habitat remains scheduled for the Chester Zoo’s 2024 season.

Above shows how Chester Zoo hope the brand new wedding venue will look once complete - *Image Credit - Chester Zoo.

There’s no doubt in our minds that the planned proposals will make a very significant change to Chester Zoo overall and will transform the beloved family attraction into a fully fledged resort once complete.

Adding such things as an upgraded wedding venue and events center also present them with the chance to host a wider range of different events and expand on their client base moving forwards.

Overall, Chester Zoo’s upcoming changes will undoubtedly help secure the attractions future and will help fund future charity work carried out by the zoo to help improve the natural world and natural habitats of the many different animals the zoo currently welcome to their site.

Check out our below official news update for even more information on what to expect and more.