The Oceanarium on Bournemouth’s sea front will soon become home to a colony of penguins.
The local tourist spot has received a £1.5 million investment to build a two-storey extension, which will contain a new penguin enclosure, sea view terrace and a walk through aviary.
Set to open in summer next year, the extension’s centrepiece will be a new penguin beach, pool and underwater viewing area.
The new penguin enclosure will also give visitors an opportunity to mingle with the penguins during feeding time in a special viewing area also set to be built.
This is the first time the Oceanarium will be home to the penguins and other species. James Eels, UK Director at the Oceanarium, is delighted by the renovation.
He said: “I am confident that the penguins will be an amazing addition and the penguin enclosure has been specially designed to ensure people can get up close and personal with the animals.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to build on our success and offer visitors more than ever before.”
Five years of planning has been funnelled into the development, which will be the biggest renovation of the Oceanarium in 16 years.
The expansion will increase the Oceanrium, owned by Spanish Leisure Park business Parques Peunidos, by a third.
James added: “Indoor and outdoor eating spaces, a children’s play area and elevated views of some of the UK’s most stunning beaches are just a snapshot of what will be on offer.
“We have enjoyed a super summer season and this news rounds off the year perfectly.”
Work will begin on the new penguin home this month, with visitors still able to enjoy the Oceanarium with no disruption throughout the project.