Twycross Zoo - Facilities Management | Wates

Wates FM have provided M&E, fabric maintenance, minor project works and horticulture services for Twycross Zoo since June 2016.

Visitors per year
Days/Year uptime
Staff on-site

Twycross Zoo is an award winning conservation charity which sits across 80 acres in Leicestershire. The zoo houses and cares for over 500 animals including, as a specialist primate zoo, all four types of great ape including the UKs only group of Bonobos.

Factors that had to be considered with the public:

  • Engagement with the public
  • High level of footfall
  • Numerous public events held throughout the year
  • Conservation
  • Maintaining very different climactic conditions to preserve rare species
  • Working with British & Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) to deliver the highest quality environmental education, training and research

With over 500,000 visitors per year, Twycross is on course with its aim to become one of the UKs leading visitor attractions and Wates are helping them to achieve this.

As the site only closes on Christmas day (and the animals need to be looked after all days of the year), it is crucial that the site is kept operating to the highest standards as they are always on view to the public.

To help with their goal, we have provided the on-site team with customer service skills training which not only improves their ability to work with Twycross stakeholders, but also with those that are visiting the zoo.

Answering simple questions and providing directions as ambassadors for the zoo is something which is considered a part of our site teams role, and this is something we can include in our delivery to the NMM Estate.

Services provided

Wates FM provide services including M&E, fabric maintenance, minor project works and horticulture and have been working at the zoo since June 2016.

The importance of our services at Twycross in terms of criticality cannot be underestimated.

Hard services are important in the majority of environments, but in a museum or a zoo, a lack of control over climate, humidity, and lighting conditions can lead to the loss of something irreplaceable – either an artefact of significant historical, cultural, and social significance, or the loss of an endangered animals life. Work is carried out to provide maximum levels of public safety with protective barriers in place
or, where possible, is completed outside of public hours.

Response times are also of great importance and we attend emergencies on site promptly. An example was when we were alerted that there was an issue regarding the temperature in the penguin enclosure which we corrected in under 15 minutes.

Compliance and criticality mean different things in different organisations and delivering services at a zoo means that some aspects of compliance are a little unusual. It is of particular consideration that animals are kept safe from visitors and, on the flip side, that visitors and staff are kept safe from the animals.

Therefore, our compliance checks and task descriptions at Twycross involve the checking of enclosure security, ensuring there are sufficient staff in attendance, and that doors that are opened for work are closed and locked once finished.

We ensure that any subcontractors or staff which are new to site are inducted and accompanied by someone who is familiar with the procedures which are specific to Twycross Zoo so that we can be certain mistakes are not made regarding animal or public security.


Wates FM currently have a jointly funded graduate working closely with Twycross Zoo to implement sustainable technologies.

One of the biggest energy initiatives, which surprises some, is from animal dung! As you can imagine, animal waste is an untapped resource.

The way in which this works is that the animal waste is collected and heated which creates the natural byproduct of methane gas and that bio-gas is the fuel which is used to power the generators and creates electricity which is then utilised at the zoo.

In addition to this being a reusable energy source, it has the following benefits:

  •  Reduction of animal waste problems associated with disposal on-site
  • Greatly reduced odour at the zoo
  • Fitting with the zoos key sustainability targets.

Supporting Events & Revenue

Twycross hold numerous events such as:

  • Weddings
  • Corporate events
  • School trips
  • Birthday parties
  • Private hire
  • Seasonal events (Easter, Christmas etc.)

Our services and the on-site team are required to be flexible to account for the events which run throughout the year. Our flexible approach is critical in ensuring that these have an excellent impact on both revenue and the reputation of Twycross Zoo.

To support this, we work with the soft services providers with a ONE (Ownership, No surprises, Extra mile) team ethos and partnership approach to have all aspects of the facilities set up to the highest standards to support the event and that the zoo is ready to receive the general public as soon as possible following an event.

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