Popular tourist attraction Trentham Monkey Forest has confirmed it will be reopen to the public later this month.
The Staffordshire wildlife reserve – which is home to 140 free-ranging Barbary macaques primates – is welcoming back guests for the first time since March, having been forced to closed since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The short-term survival of zoos had been thrown into jeopardy by the pandemic, with the government initially reluctant to reopen the sector even with social distancing intact.
However, a recent u-turn has resulted in animal centres being given the green light to welcome back visitors.
Monkey Forest in Stoke-on-Trent has set 25 June as their reopening date – which gives staff time to make the venue “extra safe”.
A new ticket-buying service is being introduced, with passes only available to purchase in advance online.
Tickets will be allocated in slots, with guests being asked to arrive at a designated time.
Representatives say this will help to prevent overcrowding and ensure plenty of open space to easily follow the 2 metre distancing rules.
Monkey Forest Director Matt Lovatt commented: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome visitors back again after being closed since March.
“Despite the announcement that we could reopen from Monday 15 June, we want to make sure everything is set up and the park is extra safe for our visitors.
“The monkeys and the staff are certainly ready to get back to the ‘new normal’ and with the attraction being nearly all outdoors it’s the perfect place for people to visit”.
Mr. Lovatt added: “The safety of our guests, our team and the monkeys is at the forefront of what we do. We’ve always asked our guests to give the free-roaming monkeys a safety distance, now we’re asking them to do the same for each other! We ask that customers help us by reading our new rules before their visit.
“Hand sanitiser is provided on site, we simply ask visitors to keep to social distancing and visit at their allocated time.
“We feel these steps will ensure Monkey Forest is a safe place to visit. Everyone can enjoy a family day out and be confident they are following government guidance. The staff and monkeys really look forward to seeing our fantastic visitors!”
Monkey Forest will be open 10am until 5pm from Thursday 25 June onwards. Tickets can be purchased online tickets from next week.
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.