Tower Meadow sunset at Wild Place Project

Sustaining our future

Strategy to 2035 - Bristol Zoological Society.

Strategic plan

5. Sustaining our future

Our people

We will increase employee engagement and satisfaction to create champions for our brand. Specifically, we will ensure that colleagues are treated with respect and fairness and that we focus on improving the wellbeing of our employees.

There will be a greater emphasis on the continued development of our colleagues, in particular managers, with an increased focus on succession planning, the development of colleagues and improved resilience throughout our organisation. Underpinned by the development of a central Staff Hub at the new Bristol Zoo we will promote and achieve a ‘One Society’ culture.

Spacious light cafe with benches and tables
Hollywood Mansion House at Wild Place Project

Our fundraising

Sufficient funding to sustain our future will be fundamental. This will be achieved through bank funding and the sale of property assets. However, donors are critical to our future success, and we will not achieve this Strategic Plan without them. In recent years the Society has grown its donor base and in 2019 funded and completed the new £3.9m Bear Wood exhibit at Wild Place Project entirely through philanthropic fundraising.

In support of our vision and masterplan for the new Bristol Zoo we will develop a case for support and campaign plan to significantly grow our capital fundraising. We will raise £10m by 2028 and a further £10m by 2035. In particular, we will use our fundraising campaigns to develop new relationships, generate new insights, and help ensure that the activities that our fundraising enables are innovative and forward-thinking.

In parallel, we will steward the financial assets realised through the sale of our property assets to ensure a long-term sustainable financial future for the Society and an increased commitment to conservation and education.

Visualisation of building block with revised dimensions on College Road, south view
View across main lawn towards Central Office, Bristol Zoo Gardens

Our places

Child with magnifying glass in nature, looking at leaves

The masterplan for the new Bristol Zoo will not only provide for a more compelling visitor experience but also ensure that we deliver an expansion and growth of the infrastructure and facilities to support colleagues, the species at the zoo and an increased number of visitors. We will develop high-quality spaces that are sensitive and sympathetic to the landscape and provide innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint and the environmental impact of what we do.

We will also ensure a legacy at Bristol Zoo Gardens that we can all be proud of. The Zoo Gardens will live on. They will be a desirable address to live at. Set in beautiful gardens and surrounded by a rich heritage with stories to tell.

The iconic main entrance building will become a conservation hub for Clifton, with a permanent base for the Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project, serving the local community. Visitors to the centre will be able to buy refreshments and explore the history of Bristol Zoo Gardens and learn more about the local wildlife and habitats. This could also be a jumping off point for a visit to the Downs.

In this way the heritage is not lost but retold whilst the new Bristol Zoo reinforces Bristol’s status as innovator, activist and champion of nature.

Photograph of Bristol Zoo Gardens entrance, showing two guests arriving at the zoo
Archive photograph of keeper and camel at Bristol Zoo Gardens