Record results for Yorkshire Wildlife Park

The company behind a wildlife-focused tourist attraction has reported record financial results despite the enforced closure at the start of the year due to the pandemic.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park was established in Doncaster in 2008 by founder directors Steve Minion, John Minion, Cheryl Williams and Neville Williams.

It is currently home to more than 400 animals and in excess of 70 different species.

Recently filed accounts for parent company Wild Life Group Ltd show turnover of £20.2m for the year ending 30 November 2021, up from £11.9m in 2020. Pre-tax profit was £6.4m, up from £2.8m the previous year.

The park was closed for three-and-a-half months of the year, including the Easter period, due to the Covid Pandemic. However, visitor numbers still reached a record 861,133, an increase of almost 290,000 against last year.

In their report accompanying the accounts, the park's directors said: "This testament to our growing appeal was underpinned by our determination to keep our visitors and staff safe. "We adopted many new measures and working practices including only allowing access with prepaid and timed entrance tickets, introducing one-way systems together with extensive signage on how to stay safe, increased cleaning, the introduction of hand sanitising stations and much more."

A major development for Yorkshire Wildlife Park, including a new main visitor entrance, new central 'entertainment' hub (the 'Hive'), many new animal reserves, major investments in services and car parking and a host of other improvements, opened on the 12 April 2021.

Initially, the entrance itself, some retail outlets and two coffee shops were opened, and these have since been joined by 'Evolution', its new themed restaurant, and 'Uproar', an indoor kids play centre.

Construction work is continuing on projects including a new Bistro, a 104-bedroom hotel, a 2,500-seat theatre/conference centre, more shops and further additions within the park itself.

The directors added: "To cope with an ever-expanding business we continue to reinforce the company's management team and to develop major new initiatives such as the Christmas light show which attracted over 120,000 visitors making December one of our most profitable months. "Much of our long-term strategy has been focused on turning what was, and still is for many of our competitors, a traditionally seasonal business into an all-year-round attraction maximising the financial return on our heavy and continuing capital investment in the built infrastructure whilst creating many more full-time jobs. "We confidently look forward to the new year, with December having already produced record revenue and profits, and with the hope that the worst of the Covid Pandemic may now be behind us allowing us to properly continue with the exciting expansion of our business."

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