Staff at a Staffordshire Moorlands zoo are hopeful for the venue’s future - despite that it is temporarily closed due to a licence issue.
Blackbrook Zoological Park in Winkhill, near Leek, has shut it’s doors to the public today (Thursday, June 5) as the site no longer has a licence to remain open.
The tourist attraction was put in the hands of administrators in March. In April, we reported that an un-named buyer has been found for the site.
However, a spokesperson for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said yesterday: “The existing license expires on June 5 and there is no legal provision available to the Council to enable us to grant an extension to this license so the zoo will have to close.
“We are working closely with the new owners to ensure a smooth transition but the process requires a two-month notice period. Notices will now be placed in the local media advising of their intention to apply for new license.”
A spokesman for the tourist attraction posted on the venue’s Facebook page today (Thursday, June 5): “Blackbrook will be closing its doors for a short time with immediate effect. Sincere apologies for all those who were planning to visit soon.
“We are embarking on a very exciting journey behind the scenes, getting Blackbrook rejuvenated ready to re-open as soon as we can. We will keep you posted with any updates as often as possible.
“We would to take this opportunity to thank all of our visitors for your continued support and kind words in what has been a very stressful and troublesome time, but all of that is behind us now as we start a new and exciting journey and we look forward to seeing you all again soon.”
Speaking today (Thursday, June 5) to the Post & Times, Blackbrook shop manager Mark Gains said: “We are all still running things as normal but are just not open to the public.
“All the birds and animals will stay on the site and will continue to be looked after by staff and volunteers as normal.”
Mark added: “Yes it is a shame that we have had to close to the public but it’s what happens. We are all quite excited and waiting in anticipation about the future of the park now that we have met the buyers. They seem to be enthusiastic about the park and came across as animal lovers.”