Harrison Drury represents zoo in landlord dispute

Preston-based Harrison Drury has helped Cumbria Safari Zoo to remain open after a dispute with the landlord resulted in zookeepers being locked out.

Employees of Cumbria Zoo Company arrived at work on June 7 to find the premises had been locked by bailiffs acting on behalf of Zoo Investment Company Ltd, the landlords.

The company took over operating the zoo in 2017 and was granted a six-year renewal of its zoo licence by Barrow Borough Council in May 2021. The land where the zoo operates was sold by the previous owners to The Zoo Investment Company Ltd (ZIC) earlier this year, however it is Cumbria Zoo Company that is the licensed operator for the zoo itself.

Harrison Drury helped secure an in interim injunction, granted by the High Court later the same day, allowing Cumbria Zoo Company temporary access to the zoo and enabling its team to provide care to the animals and allowing the attraction to reopen to the public.

The parties returned to the High Court one June 10 when the judge confirmed his interim decision would remain in place, allowing Cumbria Zoo Company to continue to occupy and operate the zoo while the dispute with the landlord is resolved.

Cumbria Zoo Company, which is owned and operated by Karen Brewer, was represented by Alex Walmsley property litigation solicitor at Harrison Drury.

Alex Walmsley said: "The primary concern of our client in all of this has been the welfare of the animals at the zoo and we’re incredibly pleased we’ve been able to assist Karen and her team to regain access and ensuring that the care for these precious animals remains in place and is undisrupted.

"We’re pleased to have been able to act so swiftly, getting a result that maintains the animals’ welfare, protects our client’s business, and ensures this important Cumbria tourist attraction remains open to the public."

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