Wales

Wildlife attraction told it must come up with business plan or face eviction

The Sea Trust has been told to come up with a business plan by the end of the financial year Image copyright Sea Trust
Image caption The Sea Trust has been told to come up with a business plan by the end of the financial year

An aquarium facing eviction by a council has accused the authority of ignoring it.

The Sea Trust said it sent plans to Pembrokeshire County Council last March in advance of an April 2020 deadline.

Cliff Benson, of the trust, said a revised version had also been sent "some months ago".

A council spokesman said it had received no update since March 2018 but would welcome one "so that progress can be made".

Mr Benson said the trust only heard of the decision to evict after it was made.

Since learning of its fate this month, Mr Benson said the Sea Trust Board, which runs the Ocean Lab at Goodwick, had met and discussed its options.

"These ranged from closing the aquarium and finding alternative accommodation as soon as practically possible, or the possibility of buying the building," he said.

"To this end I have asked Councillor Paul Miller (Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture) to try to find out what price PCC would accept, given that according to them the building needs £250,000 spending on repairs."

Mr Benson was "angry" his team received "no credit for having saved the Ocean Lab from dereliction" then regenerating it.

"We have increased income and footfall from our Sea Môr exhibition year on year," he said.

"In doing so, we have created and safeguarded jobs, and an award-winning visitor attraction and educational facility used by many of our local schools."

He added that only Councillor Miller, who had recommended the organisation be given three years rent-free on July 1, recognised the hard work, with only he and council leader Councillor David Simpson visiting the Ocean Lab.