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Our Student Blog
How can the current zoological model be enhanced with inclusive experience?

Visit the student team blog to find out their ideas.

Wolverhampton University possible cooperation with a regional nature site

Glad to hear from friend and colleague Stefano at Wolverhampton University that a possible cooperation with a regional nature site may be moving forward. The offer of a mixed used facility at such site with a university partner embedded ( = the ‘New Zoo’ concept) fits very well indeed with future political ( and therefore funding) enthusiasm.

Dialogue with Andy Burnham MP

Glad to have secured an interview with Andy Burnham MP for next week. Got to know Andy a little over the years, and he has always been supportive of the zoo sector. He is of course the Labour candidate for Manchester’s Metro Mayor elections for May ( and so very likely the city region’s first elected Mayor). Will update him… Continue reading

Biologically themed visitor site in Cuba

Did quite a lot of work over last few days on a concept for a biologically themed visitor site in Cuba which I hope may win some initial interest from a particular philanthropic source. Fingers crossed!

Lunch with Jim O’Neill

Looking forward to lunch with Jim O’Neill (former Treasury Minister) in early February. Lord O’Neill was a supporter of ‘New Zoo’ in office, and has kindly continued that interest now that he has left Government. Remarkable how such figures are sometimes able to help in a more direct and practical way once the restraints of office have been removed. Also… Continue reading

meeting with former Chancellor George Osborne

Good to have secured meeting with former Chancellor George Osborne re the ‘New Zoo’ projects and its relevance to the Northern Powerhouse agenda. Will also look to discuss the Bio Parc projects in Colombia, Cyprus and elsewhere

Meeting with Oxford Innovation

Looking forward to meeting with Oxford Innovation tomorrow at their Stockport Offices ( thanks to original introduction by Sir Michael Lyons). The potential for innovation centres or ‘incubation facilities” to be associated with the various projects we are associated with ( either here in the UK in ‘New Zoo’ or in the various ‘bio parc’ ideas around the world) has… Continue reading

Meeting with Jim O’Neil

Very encouraged that Jim O’Neil ( Baron O’Neill of Gatley) has responded positively to my meeting request for ‘New Zoo’. Lord O’Neill is of course the Treasury Minister responsible for the Northern Powerhouse agenda, an economic development corridor from Liverpool to Sheffield. 2 of our 5 New Zoo projects are in Liverpool and Sheffield. Meeting at the Treasury in some weeks

Report on Bio-Inspiration Centre

The draft report on the potential for Knowsley’s  capital ambition, the Bio-Inspiration Centre to stimulate new business activity in the region ( and so win funding) looks very strong

Meeting with Michael Gove

Just scheduled a meeting with Michael Gove and other senior Government figures re New Zoo for this Thursday morning, 25 June

Meeting with David Willetts

Good to have now secured date for meeting with David Willetts….  together with Drummond.  By all accounts and senior advice all around… David’s influence and stature post election extremely conducive to New Zoo’s success…?

Quote from Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov (Nobel Prize winner in respect of graphene) in support of New Zoo:

The concept of ‘New Zoo’ brings together in a totally coherent way a number of very important, and, as first glance, very different elements. Here are unforgettable visitor experiences, new science research facilities, creation of exciting job opportunities for local people, conservation of native as well as exotic wildlife, championship of the zero carbon society, building nation to nation… Continue reading

Nobel prize winner offers interest in New Zoo and Bio-Inspiration


Knowsley provided a wonderful behind the scenes tour for Professor Sir Kostya Novoselov and family (Irina, Sofia and Victoria) on Saturday 18 April. Kostya, based in Manchester, was the joint winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics in respect of the two-dimensional material graphene. See: http://goo.gl/nu1YNU.  Kostya has also worked in bio-inspired research such as ‘gecko… Continue reading

Good response to talk about NOAH Initiative


Good response to talk about NOAH Initiative to private and public sector audience last night in Yorkshire.  Interesting to get such as positive and creative response to concept of designing and presenting the project so as to attract new business to the region?

Zoos and Innovation

Zoos and Innovation.  Thought this was  interesting and relevant to New Zoo   goo.gl/kcexRb  Parallels with our  final year Liverpool U architect  students and Bio-Inspiration at Knowsley

Further support for New Zoo

Really pleased that Lord Heseltine recently reiterated his personal support for New Zoo to the Chair of the New Anglia LEP.  Also encouraged that David Willetts was kind enough to describe our programme as ‘ingenious’, and offered a meeting post election.

Very encouraging London meetings re future funding for New Zoo

Breakfast last week with a very senior member of the House of Lords, close to the Prime Minister.  Very supportive and positive re future Government support for New Zoo.  10 Downing Street reception post election..? Immediate introduction to several senior political figures and central decision maker in one of UK’s biggest funding foundations. Very grateful!

Funding for Bio-Inspiration Centre at Knowsley

We are delighted to have secured a small grant for Bio-Inspiration Centre at Knowsley Safari Park from Liverpool City Region. This will fund a study to evaluate the market potential for the concept with a view to major capital funding

London meetings for New Zoo and other projects

Scheduling a further 2 days of London meetings for 25 and 26 of February re funding for the 5 capital projects in New Zoo (estimated at £7 million each)…Research Director of  Higher Education Funding Council…. Then NZ board member and former Leverhulme Trust Director.  Next morning Lord Chadlington…. Then Peter Wheeler of The Nature Conservancy UK … followed… Continue reading

Great to get statement of support for New Zoo from UK Minister for Life Sciences

George Freeman, Minister for Life Sciences: “New Zoo is a unique and timely initiative that has the potential to promote public engagement across a wide range of scientific, environmental, and health-related challenges, such as climate change, food development, genetics and antibiotic resistance. There are exeptional opportunities for the private sector to become involved in this initiative and thereby win… Continue reading

London meetings for New Zoo

Wednesday and Thursday full of London meetings re New Zoo….  Wednesday afternoon saw old friend Brian Conn at FTI re New Zoo ( and BioParc Mesopotamia)… then dinner with a very senior business figure, who is assisting with political connections at the highest level for New Zoo.   Thursday morning breakfast with Chris Hyman of  the… Continue reading

Potential funders for New Zoo

Doing a round up of dialogues with potential funders for New Zoo so as to update the five sites involved.  It is quite striking how many doors at the most senior level  ( trusts, companies, etc.) have been opened by our advisory board

Bio-inspiration Centre, Liverpool

George Howarth MP kindly convened a meeting involving the new CEO of Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council on Friday 16th.   I had the chance to re-state the national New Zoo framework for the project . KMBCstrongly  re-affirmed their commitment.

NOAH update

John Minion and I presented  on Friday to the relevant private sector representative body in Yorkshire. Incredibly positive and supportive response with all sectors around the table seeing value and partnership for them in the NOAH Initiative concept. Strong momentum forward for an ERDF bid

Germinal Update

Delighted that the University of East Anglia and the Zoological Society of East Anglia have signed their first ever Memorandum of Understanding. This will underpin the progress of  the Germinal project at ZSEA’s Banham site.