Chester Zoo appoints specialists Phar Partnerships to secure a headline sponsor for its new £30m development Islands


6464033_10150656771625912_56676235911_9306858_27341746_o(1)Chester Zoo, the most visited paid-for tourist attraction outside of London with over 1.4 million visitors per year, has appointed specialist agency Phar Partnerships to secure a headline sponsor for its new £30m development.

Islands is one of the biggest and most ambitious projects in UK zoo history and will take its visitors on an adventure around the six South East Asian isles it represents – the Philippines, Papua, Bali, Sumatra, Sumba and Sulawesi.

Phar Partnerships will lead the search for the headline sponsor with the project led by head of Phar’s North West office in Manchester, Ian Tussie, who recently secured Phones 4U as the title sponsor of the Manchester Arena in August 2013.

Ian said “Chester Zoo is an incredible destination as shown by its continued success and consistently high visitor numbers. All of the research behind Islands points to further success and increased footfall. We believe this is one of the most exciting sponsorship opportunities on the market given the already established audience a sponsor can engage with, its uniqueness as an experience in the UK and the chance to work with Chester Zoo who have a rich history of delivering conservation projects both in the UK and internationally. We’re thrilled to have been appointed and look forward to presenting this to the market.”

Islands opens in summer 2015 and will help Chester Zoo stand out as one of the world’s leading zoos and as a ‘must-see’ UK visitor attraction, drawing in visitors from all over the UK and abroad.

Jamie Christon, Managing Director from Chester Zoo added “Connecting people with wildlife is at the heart of everything we do. Islands will help showcase the conservation importance of the South East Asian isles as our visitors go on their own personal expedition discovering extraordinary things along the way, including Monsoon Forest the largest indoor zoo exhibit in the UK. We look forward to working with Phar Partnerships to secure a sponsor who can join us on this exciting journey.”

About Phar Partnerships

Phar was set up in January 2011 and has grown from an initial team of four in London to over 50 people across 9 cities. Its Chairman is Tony Fernandes, the founder of AirAsia and Chairman of Caterham F1 and QPR. The purpose of Phar is to deliver long-term commercial value to its clients whether it be brands, rights holders or talent. Phar does this by creating media and marketing opportunities that engage with consumers with a focus on research, analysis and creativity. Phar’s clients include AirAsia, The Phones 4U Arena, TfL, TfGM, The Eden Project (securing sponsors such as Asda, Halifax, Kingsmill, EDF and MasterCard for the Big Lunch), David Lloyd Leisure, The Premier League, The FA, SP Setia, STIHL, Diageo,, RICOH, Jaguar, Iain Percy, Christine Ohuruogu and Mike Brown.

Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo ( is a registered conservation charity that supports projects around the world and closer to home in Cheshire. Welcoming 1.4 million visitors a year, it is the largest zoo in the UK; home to 11,000 animals, 400 different species, many of which are endangered.
It has been voted the most visited attraction outside of London buy the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) for the third year running.

About Islands

Work started on the £30m development on 12/08/2013
Islands will be part of the core zoo visit and will expand the zoo’s footprint by over 14 acres (seven football pitches)
45 additional full time equivalent jobs will be created
A further 31 indirect jobs within the local area will also be created
Islands is expected to bring an extra 150,000 visitors to the local area per year
A £3.3million increase in spend in the local and regional economy
30,000 people taking part in workshop sessions (via schools and community groups) and other structured education programmes delivered by zoo staff

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