Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apply for the Zoo Animals Fund

Apply for an animal welfare grant of up to £730,000 for your zoo or aquarium affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Before you can apply for a Zoo Animals Fund grant, you must check that you’re eligible.

The grant funding is not unlimited, and applications will be assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on a strictly first come first served basis.

What you’ll need

You may have to provide the following information in your application.

Organisation details

You may need to provide your:

  • contact name, phone number and address
  • trading name
  • name the zoo is licensed under
  • UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • CPID (counter-party identifier) reference, if you’re a public sector organisation
  • zoo licence or exemption certificate
  • animal activities licence (if applicable)
  • state aid declaration (if applicable)
  • DUNS number (if applicable)
  • VAT registration number
  • company number or registered charity number

Evidence that you have tried to get other support

You may need to provide:

  • emails, letters or reference numbers for your applications to the Treasury and HMRC COVID-19 intervention schemes
  • emails or letters from your commercial bank where you have sought additional support such as mortgage holidays, rent holidays or overdraft extensions
  • evidence of your efforts to raise funds, such as links to crowd-funding pages and emails to your members and the public asking for donations

Evidence to justify the amount you’re asking for

You may need to provide your:

  • bank statements for all accounts to demonstrate current cash reserves
  • estimated animal care-related costs up to 30 June 2021
  • planned essential maintenance costs up to 30 June 2021
  • three quotes for any claim for a planned maintenance project or repair costing over £5000
  • estimated total operating costs up to 30 June 2021
  • estimated income for the period up to 30 June 2021
  • estimated reserves for the period up to 30 June 2021
  • evidence of animal care-related costs for the last quarter
  • estimated animal rehoming costs up to 30 June 2021
  • justification for the amount of funding you’ve requested and how costs have been minimised
  • evidence of other funding you’ve applied for but have not yet received a decision or the funds

How to apply

You can apply for funding at any time until 28 May 2021.

You can receive payments when you have 12 weeks or less in financial reserves remaining, after your income has been taken into account. If you apply more than 8 weeks before expecting to reach this point, your application will be processed, and you’ll be given a provisional payment date and grant amount.

This payment date and amount is not guaranteed. You will be subject to a pre-payment check which will finalise the payment date and amount.

If you have already submitted an application for the scheme, you do not need to reapply. We will be in touch with you in due course to let you know of any additional funds you are entitled to.

Register with the eSourcing portal

Follow these steps to register for the eSourcing portal. You’ll only need to register once:

  1. Go to the eSourcing portal and click ‘Register now’.
  2. Read and accept the terms and conditions and click ‘continue’.
  3. Enter your organisation and user details.
  4. Note your chosen username.
  5. Click ‘Save’ when complete.

When you’ve submitted your registration you’ll get an email with your unique password. Keep this secure.

If you need help with the registration process, contact Bravo (the hosting company of the eSourcing portal) by phone on 0800 368 4850 or email

Apply for the Zoo Animals Fund

Once you’ve registered, follow these steps to make your application:

  1. Log in to the eSourcing portal .
  2. Click the ‘ITTs open to all suppliers’ list.
  3. Select ‘COVID 19 Zoo Animals Fund’.
  4. Click the ‘Express interest’ button. This will move the ITT into your My ITTs page.
  5. Click ‘Create response’.
  6. Complete the online application form with your organisation details, following the onscreen instructions.
  7. Provide any evidence required.
  8. Click ‘Submit response’ when complete.

What happens after you apply

Defra will consider your application. You’ll get the outcome of your application by email.

Defra may ask for more evidence to support your application through the e-sourcing portal.

Contact Defra

If you have questions about the Zoo Animals Fund or how to apply, you can contact Defra by email

Published 4 May 2020
Last updated 4 March 2021 + show all updates
  1. Changed application deadline to 28 May and the scheme deadline to 30 June

  2. Updated application deadline to 26 February 2021.

  3. Date changed under 'How to apply'.

  4. New details added on how to apply for a Zoo Animal Support Fund grant.

  5. First published.