Harlow’s much-loved Pets Corner re-opens
Lifestyle / Tue 27th Oct 2015 pm31 05:15pm
The Council-run facility has been closed for nine months during construction work for the £2.8m Town Park regeneration project which is part funded with £1.83m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.
The facility has been completely renovated with a new events barn, new shelters for animals, a new bird enclosure and aquarium, a new small animal quarantine room, updated surfacing and drainage and a new duck pond. New cladding and repairs to buildings have been completed throughout giving the facility a new refreshed look. Facilities for staff have also been upgraded and access for all visitors has been improved with a new ramp and hand rails installed.
A new gift shop and reception is being fitted out and will be ready to open in the coming weeks. Two new entrance gates will be completed shortly to improve access for all and some small improvements like putting new turf on the green area will take place this week. Construction work on a new eco-friendly learning centre next to Pets’ Corner continues and once completed will host educational visits to the Town Park and Pets’ Corner.
While Pets’ Corner has been closed it has still run education programmes and many of the animals could be visited in the paddocks with the animals cared for by staff who continued to work during the closure to feed and exercise the animals. Just last week three piglets were born and will be the star attraction ready for today’s re-opening! Please see attached images.
Councillor Emma Toal, Portfolio Holder for Youth & Community, said: “The reopening of Pets’ Corner is a very special day for residents, for staff and for volunteers and I am delighted that people can once again enjoy this hugely popular facility. Staff and volunteers have been working hard to get the facility ready to reopen and this is great news as we begin the October half-term.
“The regeneration of Pets’ Corner has been a major project involving the renovation of a facility not just to improve it for visitors and staff but also for the animals which live there. Construction work has taken longer than expected. However, during this time residents have been incredibly patient as we know how much they love this facility and have anticipated its reopening.
“Next year is going to be a big year for Pets’ Corner with the facility celebrating its 50th anniversary and a number of events to mark this occasion are now being planned. It is fitting that we will have a new modern Pets’ Corner in time for this special milestone.”
The first event to be held in the new events barn will be Pets’ Corner’s annual nativity play which will be held on Thursday 17 December 2015.
Pets’ Corner is open all year round (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) seven days a week from 11am and entry to the facility continues to be free. For more information on opening times visit www.harlow.gov.uk/pets-corner